Rep. Doc Hastings (WA), ranking member on that Natural Resources Committee, just published a piece on The Daily Caller regarding the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009. This legislation is being voted on this afternoon. For background information on the Act, see here.
Read the following excerpt from Hastings' piece:
Race-based distinctions with special privileges do a disservice to the fundamental rights guaranteed by our Constitution and are completely antithetical to individual freedoms so inherent and valued in American society. Further, subdividing Americans based on race raises serious constitutional questions as to whether or not Congress has the authority to treat Native Hawaiians as an Indian tribe.
With respect to dividing people based on race or ethnicity, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, less than pleased with the concept of the legislation, expressed their dissatisfaction in an August 2009 letter to Congress stating they oppose any “legislation that would discriminate on the basis of race or national origin and further subdivide the American People into discrete subgroups accorded varying degrees of privilege.”