Attorney General Jeff Sessions, in apparent frustration with a March 15, 2017 ruling by Federal Judge Derrick K. Watson’s “‘granting a temporary restraining order” against the U.S. government, has determined Hawaii no more than a mere island in the Pacific. (For interested readers, eight islands actually comprise the great state of Hawaii.)

CNN first reported on the existence of a radio interview between Mr. Sessions and radio host  Mark Levin, in which the attorney general was recorded as saying, “I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the president of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and Constitutional power.”

There is infinite possibility for irony in the Attorney General’s comments, but were one looking for a starting point look no further than November 23, 1993 when S.J. Res. 19 was entered as law by the 103rd Congress.

S.J. Res. 19 issued a formal apology to the state of Hawaii for the U.S. government’s participation in the overthrow of Hawaii’s monarchy. The resolution acknowledged on the “100th anniversary of the January 17, 1893 overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii” that “an offer of apology to Native Hawaiians” was warranted “for the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii.”

So, while Mr. Sessions may wish Hawaii were not a state, and while the Attorney General may argue a Federal judge from the aloha spirit state has no authority to issue a ruling concerning federal law, as Washington Irving once said, “Great minds have purposes; others have wishes.”


Suggested Additional Reading:

State of Hawai’i and Ismail Elshikh v. Donald J. Trump, et al., Order for Granting Temporary Restraining Order

S.J.Res.19 – A joint resolution to acknowledge the 100th anniversary of the January 17, 1893 overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii, and to offer an apology to Native Hawaiians on behalf of the United States for the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii.



Editors, writers and members of the Fraternal Order of the Leather Apron Club.