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Hawaii Organic Act: Congressional debates on Hawaii Organic Act

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imperial Government of ours and exercising its powers without 
There is nothing unconstitutional about it. There is nothing 
any more wrong about it or irregular about it than there was in 
the annexation of Louisiana after the treaty of Mr. Jefferson, 
when it became necessary to extend the laws over that Territory; 
but instead of extending the laws of the United States over it we 
retained the laws that were in force there, whether they were of 
French origin or of Spanish origin. All the laws in force were 
retained, and the courts were compelled to administer them and 
did administer them until the Congress of the United States fur-
nished to Louisiana a Territorial form of government, after several 
Now, there we are. and that is the situation of Hawaii to-day. 
Therefore the question arises, Mr. President, and arises naturally 
and properly, not whether we shall create a government in Hawaii 
anew entirely, starting it from the ground, but how much of the 
powers of the republic ought we to take away in order to conform 
Hawaii to the institutions and the Constitution and the laws of 
the United States and the opinions of the American people. That is 
the question which is presented, and in the presentation of that 
question I wish to state just this: We thought it was proper to 
retain the courts that were in Hawaii and give them local  juris-
diction, cutting away from them all jurisdiction of a foreign Char-
acter or admiralty character, and everything of that kind, but 
giving them control of local affairs within the jurisdiction of the 
district, circuit, and supreme courts. Then a part of the bill is to 
establish within those islands for the first time a district court of 
the United States proper. That is the proposition before the Senate 
at this moment of time.

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