indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439
Dynamic Homes
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

printer friendly version
Appeals court blocks Native Hawaiian school policy
Wednesday, August 3, 2005

The campaign to protect Native Hawaiian rights suffered another blow on Tuesday when a federal appeals court rejected the admissions policy for a private school created to benefit indigenous people.

In a 2-1 decision, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the exclusive Kamehameha Schools cannot restrict enrollment to Native Hawaiians. Even though the school doesn't receive federal funds and is not part of the public system, its admission policy violates a federal civil rights law, the majority said.

Finding in favor of an unidentified non-Native student who was denied admission, Judge Jay S. Bybee said "the schools' admissions policy, which operates in practice as an absolute bar to admission for those of the non-preferred race, constitutes unlawful race discrimination" in violation of the Civil Rights Act amendments of 1991.

But in reaching that conclusion, the majority left open a critical question that is being debated in Washington, D.C. The two judges, along with a third who wrote a dissent, acknowledged that Congress has passed legislation to address the special status of Native Hawaiians in a manner similar to American Indians and Alaska Natives.

"As it has for Native Americans, Congress has enacted numerous statutes providing separate benefit programs for native Hawaiians or including them in benefit programs that assist other Native people," wrote Bybee, a Bush administration appointee.

Until that happens, however, Bybee said the 9th Circuit is bound by the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in the Rice v. Cayetano case from 2000. By a 7-2 vote, the justices rejected arguments advanced by Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr. that the United States has a trust relationship with Native Hawaiians that could allow programs, benefits and other activities to be restricted to Native Hawaiians.

In her dissent, Judge Susan P. Graber, an appointee of former President Bill Clinton, said Congress has spoken directly on that point. She cited a federal law that included specific findings related to Native Hawaiian education.

"In 1988, just three years before its reenactment of [the Civil Rights Act] Congress recognized the United States government's unique relationship with Native Hawaiians, acknowledged the severe socioeconomic and educational disadvantages experienced by Native Hawaiians, and authorized federal money for private entities -— including the Kamehameha Schools -- to provide loans and scholarships exclusively to Native Hawaiians," she wrote.

Graber went further and said Congress has validly treated Native Hawaiians as a racial group "whose sovereignty and culture were upended and nearly destroyed, in part by the actions of the United States, and consequently enjoys a special trust relationship with the United States government that parallels (but is not identical to) that between the federal government and Native Americans."

That issue is at the heart of debate in the Senate over a bill that would recognize a Native Hawaiian governing entity. The measure was set for a floor vote late last month but was pulled amid objections by at least two senators.

Native Hawaiian advocates argue that the legislation is needed to address the Rice decision. They say their housing, education, cultural and other programs will be dismantled unless Congress clarifies the government's relationship with the indigenous people of Hawaii.

Opponents, including many conservatives and Republicans, say Rice settled the matter once and for all. They argue that Congress cannot "create" a race-based government.

Many American Indians and Alaska Natives, along with tribes and tribal organizations, support the Native Hawaiian sovereignty movement. Some fear that the views expressed by opponents could be applied to tribal governments.

S.147, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2005, was introduced earlier this year by Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), who is part Native Hawaiian. It has nine co-sponsors in the Senate, including four Republicans. Gov. Linda Lingle, a Republican, also supports the bill.

The House has previously passed similar measures by wide margins. The current version, H.R.309, was introduced by Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii).

In response to yesterday's decision, Kamehameha Schools CEO Dee Jay Mailer said the school will "continue to fight for our rights in the courts to serve these students, on our campuses and in our island communities." "We can do no less because Bernice Pauahi Bishop willed it and our strategic plan mandates it," Mailer said.

The school will hold a rally at ‘Iolani Palace on Saturday morning at 8am. It will be followed by a march to Mauna ‘Ala, the Royal Mausoleum where members of the Native Hawaiian royal government that was overthrown by the U.S. are buried.

Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the great-granddaughter and last royal descendant of of King Kamehameha, founded the Kamehameha Schools. The system educates Hawaiians from grades kindergarten through 12. Its current enrollment is about 5,000 students.

Get the Decision:
Doe v. Kamehameha Schools (August 2, 2005)

Rice v. Cayetano Decision:
Syllabus | Opinion | Concurrence Dissent (Stevens) | Dissent (Ginsburg)

Native Hawaiian Recognition Bill:
Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2005 (S.147)

Relevant Links:
Kamehameha Schools - http://www.ksbe.edu
Native Hawaiian Sovereignty Site - http://www.hawaii-nation.org
Native Hawaiian Federal Recognition Site - http://www.nativehawaiians.com

Related Stories:
Editorial: Native Hawaiian bill is un-American (07/21)
Debate on Native Hawaiian bill delayed in Senate (7/20)
Bush names John G. Roberts to U.S. Supreme Court (07/20)
House, Senate hearings on housing, land dispute (7/18)
Native Hawaiian bill set for vote on Senate floor (7/18)
Opinion: Native Hawaiian bill sets bad precedent (7/18)
Commentary: Bill creates 'race-based' government (07/07)
Novak: Native Hawaiian bill creates new 'Indians' (7/5)
Column: Bill creates 'tribe' of Native Hawaiians (6/23)
High court won't take on Native Hawaiian recognition (06/14)
Panel approves Native Hawaiian, NAGPRA changes (03/10)
Native Hawaiian recognition bill gets another shot (02/22)
Native Hawaiian recognition bill introduced again (01/27)
McCain won't block Hawaiian recognition bill (01/14)
McCain opposes Native Hawaiian recognition bill (1/6)
Appeals court leaves Hawaiian recognition to Congress (11/02)
Bush investigating Native Hawaiian scholarships (03/17)
Hawaii senators consider deal on recognition bill (2/25)
Norton continues to question Native Hawaiian bill (2/23)
Native Hawaiian programs survive big court test (01/16)
Norton worried about 'pitfalls' for Native Hawaiians (01/13)
Alaska-Hawaii ties stir controversy among Natives (12/01)
Judge strikes down one Native Hawaiian lawsuit (11/21)
Lawsuits challenging Native Hawaiians benefits resume (11/12)
Legal threats galvanize Native Hawaiian community (09/15)
Native Hawaiians in limbo as courts open up programs (09/04)
Native Hawaiian recognition stalled in Congress (09/01)
Judge to rule in Native Hawaiian school case (08/20)
Native Hawaiians fight for federal recognition (07/21)
Student denied entry into Hawaiian school sues (06/30)
DOJ objected to Native Hawaiian legislation (06/06)
Native Hawaiians denied party status in suit (04/01)
Native Hawaiian office established in D.C. (02/27)
Opinion: Oppose Native Hawaiian bill (2/21)
Court affirms Native Hawaiian ruling (01/06)
Native Hawaiians press sovereignty (10/14)
U.S. dismissed from Native Hawaiian case (09/04)
Inouye: Native Hawaiian bill won't pass (8/8)
Native Hawaiian bill supported (7/16)
Native Hawaiians intervene in lawsuit (7/12)
Judge won't halt Hawaiian funding (3/14)
Native Hawaiian trust challenged (3/6)
Native Hawaiian bill on Senate agenda (7/20)
Federal judge blocks Army training (7/19)
Native Hawaiian lawsuit dismissed (7/13)
Shift in Senate means changes for Indian Country (5/25)
Senate confirms Olson as Solicitor General (5/25)
Native Hawaiian lands threatened (5/24)
A first for Native Hawaiians (4/5)
Indian Law and the Supreme Court (12/11)
OHA survives elections (11/14)
Final Hawaiian report released (10/24)
Native Hawaiian bill passes House (9/27)
Hawaiian affairs still controversial (9/13)
US recommends Hawaiian sovereignty (8/24)
Non-Natives win battle in suit (8/17)
Where are the Dems on tribes? (8/16)
March raises sovereignty awareness (8/14)
The GOP 2000 Platform on Native Americans (8/1)
Group challenges Hawaii (7/7)
Hawaiians march for sovereignty (7/5)

Copyright © 2000-2005 Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:

Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux Tribe heads to election season (10/23)
Al Caroll: Recognize tribal sovereignty in new US Constitution (10/23)
Michael Baines: Senate candidate battles Alaska Native rights (10/23)
President Barack Obama urges early voting for Alaska Natives (10/23)
Ho-Chunk Nation woman named president of Girl Scouts board (10/23)
3rd Circuit won't force town to repatriate Jim Thorpe's remains (10/23)
Navajo Nation's top court orders new ballots without candidate (10/23)
Alaska Federation of Natives ready to open annual convention (10/23)
Alaska governor to sign Native languages bill six months later (10/23)
Rep. Don Young blames government 'largesse' for suicide rate (10/23)
Washington player says tattoo represents Cherokee heritage (10/23)
Crow Tribe seeks renewal of Indian Coal Production Tax Credit (10/23)
Native advocates come together to combat domestic violence (10/23)
Agua Caliente Band and DOJ submit briefs in water rights case (10/23)
Former health executive from Chippewa Cree Tribe sentenced (10/23)
Final person sentenced in theft from Blackfeet Nation program (10/23)
Opinion: Tribes exploit loopholes in America's political system (10/23)
Otoe-Missouria Tribe announces plans for new gaming facility (10/23)
Rival leaders of Chukchansi Tribe to meet amid casino closure (10/23)
Navajo Nation challenges lawsuit over death of casino patron (10/23)
Law Article: Judge restricts BIA authority in Class III dispute (10/23)
Column: Election won't end North Fork off-reservation casino (10/23)
Eyapaha Today: Oneida singer follows in mother's footsteps (10/22)
Native Sun News: Candidate seeks investigation into program (10/22)
Ivan Star Comes Out: Lakota people disrespect our language (10/22)
Cedric Sunray: Standing together to fight tribal disenrollment (10/22)
SCIA to hold listening session at NCAI on Indian education bill (10/22)
FNDI urges passage for Indian Teacher Loan Forgiveness Act (10/22)
Chumash Tribe praises BIA movement on land-into-trust bid (10/22)
Steven Newcomb: The role of Latin in empire and colonization (10/22)
Christopher Chavis: Navajo court got it wrong in fluency case (10/22)
Navajo Nation presidential hopeful to be removed from ballot (10/22)
Aging BIA school on Navajo Nation awaits replacement funds (10/22)
Review: NMAI treaties exhibit underscores misunderstandings (10/22)
Alaska Native elders and youth share issues at annual meeting (10/22)
Shinnecock Nation allows felons to hold office in certain cases (10/22)
2nd Circuit hears appeal from former chairman of Pequot Tribe (10/22)
Rep. Don Young criticized for comments to high school students (10/22)
Candidates differ on Spokane Tribe's off-reservation casino bid (10/22)
Poarch Creeks to add hotel to casino with $65M expansion plan (10/22)
Salt River Tribe concerned about Tohono O'odham Nation casino (10/22)
North Fork Rancheria blames rival tribes for holding up compact (10/22)
Ballot proposal authorizes more Class III games in South Dakota (10/22)
Blog: Predictions for gaming with Hillary Clinton in White House (10/22)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.