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Ceded lands moratorium top priority for Native Hawaiian caucus

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Advertiser Staff

A moratorium on the sale of ceded lands will be the top priority for state lawmakers who comprise the Native Hawaiian Caucus, the group announced today.

A moratorium bill would be used as ammunition against the Lingle administration, which wants the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the Hawai'i Supreme Court's decision barring the sale or transfer of ceded lands until Native Hawaiian claims to those lands are resolved.

The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments late next month in the case which pits the Lingle administration against the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and five Native Hawaiians.

The Lingle administration is arguing that it wants to reaffirm the state's right to sell state lands, as granted by the U.S. government at statehood.

But OHA and those supporting the agency's side said that the 1993 Apology Resolution passed by Congress acknowledged claims by Native Hawaiians which need to be addressed.

Ceded lands are the 1.2 million acres taken over by the United States as a result of the 1898 annexation.

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