HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.C.R. NO.

107

TWENTY-SIXTH LEGISLATURE, 2011

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

HOUSE CONCURRENT

RESOLUTION

 

 

ESTABLISHING A JOINT LEGISLATIVE INVESTIGATING COMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE THE STATUS OF TWO EXECUTIVE AGREEMENTS ENTERED INTO in 1893 BETWEEN United States PRESIDENT GROVER CLEVELAND AND QUEEN LILI'UOKALANI OF THE HAWAIIAN KINGDOM, called THE LILI'UOKALANI ASSIGNMENT AND THE AGREEMENT OF RESTORATION.

 

 

 


WHEREAS, on December 19, 1842, United States President John Tyler recognized the Hawaiian Kingdom as an independent and sovereign State, extended full and complete diplomatic recognition to the Hawaiian Government, and entered into treaties and conventions with the Hawaiian government in 1849, 1875, and 1887; and

 

WHEREAS, on January 14, 1893, John L. Stevens (hereinafter referred to as the "United States minister"), the United States minister plenipotentiary assigned to the Hawaiian Kingdom government, conspired with a small group of insurgents of diverse nationalities to overthrow the Hawaiian Kingdom government; and

 

WHEREAS, in pursuance of the conspiracy, the United States Minister and naval representatives of the United States caused armed naval forces to invade the Hawaiian Kingdom on January 16, 1893, and to position themselves near government buildings and Iolani Palace in order to provide protection to the insurgents; and

 

WHEREAS, on the afternoon of January 17, 1893, this small group of insurgents declared themselves to be a Provisional Government; and

 

WHEREAS, the United States minister thereupon extended diplomatic recognition to the insurgents in violation of treaties between the United States and the Hawaiian Kingdom and in violation of international law; and

 

WHEREAS, because the police force was unable to apprehend the insurgents for violating the law of treason without the risk of bloodshed between the police and the United States troops, Queen Lili'uokalani issued the following protest temporarily, conditionally yielding her executive power to the United States government:

 

"I Liliuokalani, by the Grace of God and under the Constitution of the Hawaiian Kingdom, Queen, do hereby solemnly protest against any and all acts done against myself and the Constitutional Government of the Hawaiian Kingdom by certain persons claiming to have established a Provisional Government of and for this Kingdom.

 

That I yield to the superior force of the United States of America whose Minister Plenipotentiary, His Excellency John L. Stevens, has caused United States troops to be landed at Honolulu and declared that he would support the Provisional Government.

 

Now to avoid any collision of armed forces, and perhaps the loss of life, I do this under protest and impelled by said force yield my authority until such time as the Government of the United States shall, upon facts being presented to it, undo the action of its representatives and reinstate me in the authority which I claim as the Constitutional Sovereign of the Hawaiian Islands.

 

Done at Honolulu this 17th day of January, A.D. 1893"; and

 

WHEREAS, under Article 31 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Hawaii, as the constitutional monarch of the Hawaiian islands, the Queen was vested with the executive power to faithfully execute and administer Hawaiian law: "To the King belongs the Executive power"; and

 

WHEREAS, on March 9, 1893, President Grover Cleveland accepted the temporary and conditional assignment of executive power from the Queen and investigated the circumstances of the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom government; and

 

WHEREAS, on October 18, 1893, the investigation concluded that the United States violated international law and the Hawaiian Kingdom government must be restored to its status before the landing of United States troops; and

 

WHEREAS, negotiations for settlement and restoration took place between Queen Lili'uokalani and United States minister plenipotentiary, Albert Willis, between November 13, 1893, and December 18, 1893, at the United States Embassy in Honolulu; and

 

WHEREAS, a settlement was reached on December 18, 1893, whereby Queen Lili'uokalani signed the following declaration that was dispatched to the United States State Department by the United States minister on December 20, 1893:

 

"I, Liliuokalani, in recognition of the high sense of justice which has actuated the President of the United States, and desiring to put aside all feelings of personal hatred or revenge and to do what is best for all the people of these Islands, both native and foreign born, do hereby and herein solemnly declare and pledge myself that, if reinstated as the constitutional sovereign of the Hawaiian Islands, that I will immediately proclaim and declare, unconditionally and without reservation, to every person who directly or indirectly participated in the revolution of January 17, 1893, a full pardon and amnesty for their offenses, with restoration of all rights, privileges, and immunities under the constitution and the laws which have been made in pursuance thereof, and that I will forbid and prevent the adoption of any measures of proscription or punishment for what has been done in the past by those setting up or supporting the Provisional Government.

 

I further solemnly agree to accept the restoration under the constitution existing at the time of said revolution and that I will abide by and fully execute that constitution with all the guaranties as to person and property therein contained.

 

I furthermore solemnly pledge myself and my Government, if restored, to assume all the obligations created by the Provisional Government, in the proper course of administration, including all expenditures for military or police services, it being my purpose, if restored, to assume the Government precisely as it existed on the day when it was unlawfully overthrown.

 

Witness my hand this 18th of December, 1893"; and

 

WHEREAS, there exist two agreements:

 

(1) The Lili'uokalani Assignment, whereby President Grover Cleveland accepted the obligation of administering Hawaiian Law in an assignment of executive power; and

 

(2) The Agreement of Restoration, whereby the Queen agreed to grant amnesty after return of executive power and restoration of the government; and

 

WHEREAS, President Cleveland and his successors in office have violated these agreements by not administering Hawaiian Kingdom Law and not restoring the Hawaiian Kingdom government; and

 

WHEREAS, for the past one hundred eighteen years the Office of President has retained the temporary and conditional assignment of Hawaiian executive power from the Queen; and

 

WHEREAS, these agreements are called sole executive agreements under United States constitutional law and the basis of a federal lawsuit in Washington, D.C., filed by Dr. David Keanu Sai against President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Admiral Robert Willard, and Governor Linda Lingle (case no. 1:10-CV-00899CKK) on June 1, 2010; and

 

WHEREAS, on November 13, 2010, the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs at its 51st Convention at Keauhou, Island of Hawaii, unanimously passed Resolution No. 10-15, "Acknowledging Queen Lili'uokalani's Agreements with President Grover Cleveland to Execute Hawaiian Law and to Restore the Hawaiian Government"; and

 

WHEREAS, under the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution, "all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding"; and

 

WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court declared in United States v. Belmont, 301 U.S. 324 (1937), that executive agreements arising out of the President's sole authority over foreign relations does not require ratification by the Senate or the approval of Congress, and has the force and effect of a treaty; and

 

WHEREAS, statutes enacted by the Legislature of the State of Hawaii that conflict with valid executive agreements would be considered void under the Supremacy Clause; and

 

WHEREAS, a joint legislative investigating committee would settle the issue of whether certain statutes enacted by the Hawaii State Legislature violate the United States Constitution; and

 

WHEREAS, section 21-3, Hawaii Revised Statutes, authorizes the establishment of a legislative investigating committee by resolution, and Rule 14 of the Rules of the House of Representatives and Rule 14(3) of the Rules of the Senate allow for the establishment of special committees; now, therefore,

 

BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-sixth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2011, the Senate concurring, that:

 

(1) The Legislature hereby establishes a joint legislative investigating committee to investigate the status of two executive agreements entered into between President Grover Cleveland of the United States and Queen Lili'uokalani of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1893, called the Lili'uokalani Assignment and the Agreement of Restoration;

 

(2) The purpose and duties of the joint investigating committee shall be to inquire into the status of the executive agreements by holding meetings and hearings as necessary, receiving all information from the inquiry, and submitting a final report to the Legislature;

 

(3) The joint investigating committee shall have every power and function allowed to an investigating committee under the law, including without limitation the power to:

 

(A) Adopt rules for the conduct of its proceedings;

 

(B) Issue subpoenas requiring the attendance and testimony of the witnesses and subpoenas duces tecum requiring the production of books, documents, records, papers, or other evidence in any matter pending before the joint investigating committee;

 

(C) Hold hearings appropriate for the performance of its duties, at times and places as the joint investigating committee determines;

 

(D) Administer oaths and affirmations to witnesses at hearings of the joint investigating committee;

 

(E) Report or certify instances of contempt as provided in section 21-14, Hawaii Revised Statutes;

 

(F) Determine the means by which a record shall be made of its proceedings in which testimony or other evidence is demanded or adduced;

 

(G) Provide for the submission, by a witness's own counsel and counsel for another individual or entity about whom the witness has devoted substantial or important portions of the witness's testimony, of written questions to be asked of the witness by the chair; and

 

(H) Exercise all other powers specified under chapter 21, Hawaii Revised Statutes, with respect to a joint investigating committee; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the joint investigating committee shall consist of the following ten members:

 

(1) The Chairperson of the House Committee on Finance;

 

(2) The Chairperson of the House Committee on Water, Land, and Ocean Resources;

 

(3) The Chairperson of the House Committee on Hawaiian Affairs;

 

(4) One member of the majority leadership from the House of Representatives who shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives;

 

(5) One member of the minority leadership from the House of Representatives who shall be appointed by the House Minority Leader;

 

(6) The Chairperson of the Senate Ways and Means Committee;

 

(7) The Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Water, Land, and Agriculture;

 

(8) The Chairperson of the Senate Hawaiian Affairs Committee;

 

(9) One member of the majority leadership from the Senate who shall be appointed by the President of the Senate; and

 

(10) One member of the minority leadership from the Senate who shall be appointed by the Senate Minority Leader; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the joint investigating committee shall submit its findings and recommendations to the Legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2012 and shall dissolve upon submission of its report; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the President of the United States, members of Hawaii's congressional delegation, the Governor, the President of the Hawaii State Senate, the Speaker of the Hawaii State House of Representatives, the Director of Finance, the Attorney General, and the Auditor.

 

 

 

 

OFFERED BY:

_____________________________

 

 

Report Title:

Joint Legislative Investigating Committee; Hawaiian Agreements