The United States Supreme Court operates as the highest court in the country, and while its power cannot be questioned, their decisions can be. In the case of Rice v Cayetano, it not only begs the question of who is truly protected by the legal system, but also how does said legal system protect or even acknowledge indigenous rights. The facts of the case are straight forward enough: Harold “Freddy” Rice, a white settler and not a Native Hawaiian, insists that his Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendment rights were impinged upon by his denial to vote in the elections for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Heretofore, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) mandated that only those with a certain percentage of Hawaiian blood or ancestry had the right to vote within their elections. While the Hawaiian Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals both agreed with the OHA, the Supreme Court agreed with Rice’s assessment, stating that in this instance ancestry was a proxy for race, and deemed it unconstitutional. As a result of the SCOTUS decision, a white settler now has the ability to vote in an election for a committee originally situated to benefit Native Hawaiians, as they oversee the use of crownlands (i.e. lands that were given back to the state of Hawaii after it was annexed). My thesis focuses on the Court’s assessment of, not only Hawaii’s history, but also the framing of Rice’s own ancestry, and the rhetorical implications of these decisions. In analyzing the Court’s decision, environmental racism comes to the fore as a prime determining factor, evidenced by their decision to counteract OHA’s voting scheme. Therefore, the Court disallows the potential for Hawaiian sovereignty– now and in the future. In this view, constitutional precedent reveals itself as a means of subjugation, and revealing the law’s role in continuing said subjugation is necessary. Ultimately, I argue that had the Supreme Court allowed the OHA to retain their voting schema, it would have been an untenable concession of power— and the U.S.’s hegemonic rule in the Pacific would have been interrupted.