indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439   fax: 202 318 2182
Kill The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement
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...
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Native nations unite on uranium mine cleanup (7/29)
House Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs hearing (7/29)
Witness List: SCIA hearing on natural disasters in Indian Country (7/29)
Editorial: Washington team's 'racial slur' has no place in society (7/29)
Tim Giago: Lakota and Pueblo Indians on Pine Ridge Reservation (7/28)
Native Sun News: President of Oglala Sioux Tribe dodges bullets (7/28)
Puyallup fashion designer competes for prize in Project Runway (7/28)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee sets business meeting on bills (7/28)
NIEA heads to Capitol Hill to advocate for Native language bills (7/28)
Obama signs Pascua Yaqui and Hoonah Indian Association bills (7/28)
Ho-Chunk Inc executive Lance Morgan receives business honor (7/28)
Charles Roessel: BIE reform plan includes teacher certification (7/28)
Troy Eid: Marijuana experiment in Colorado hurts Indian youth (7/28)
BIA hosts scoping meeting on Paiute Tribe land-into-trust bid (7/28)
Cherokee Nation program keeps former inmates out of prison (7/28)
Grand Ronde Tribes disenroll 86 descendants of treaty signer (7/28)
Protest targets disenrollments within Saginaw Chippewa Tribe (7/28)
At least 10 tribes adopt laws to recognize same-sex mariages (7/28)
KUOW: Coeur d'Alene Tribe cleans meth houses with EPA funds (7/28)
Law Article: Supreme Court sends reminder on tribal immunity (7/28)
Unsettled: Passamaquoddy Tribe awaits constitutional reform (7/28)
KGOU: Indian Times review of news affecting Oklahoma tribes (7/28)
Judge hears dispute over United Keetoowah Band gaming site (7/28)
Chumash Tribe plans hotel tower with $160M casino expansion (7/28)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe changes architects for casino plan (7/28)
Soo Tribe casino partner was developer behind failed racetrack (7/28)
Editorial: State must negotiate compact with Pojoaque Pueblo (7/28)
Native Sun News: IHS hospital at Pine Ridge undergoes review (7/25)
Ivan Star Comes Out: Group disturbs tranquility at Bear Butte (7/25)
Indian Health Service discloses privacy breach of patient data (7/25)
BIA extends comment period on federal recognition regulation (7/25)
Navajo Nation president calling for FBI probe of brutal murders (7/25)
Jennie Stockle: Justice for victims of Cedarville mass shooting (7/25)
John Christian Hopkins: Waiting for Belgian waffles at Denny's (7/25)
Steven Pevar: Indian chldren are being taken from their homes (7/25)
IHS pays $53M to settle another contract support cost dispute (7/25)
Shinnecock Nation asserts control over tobacco amid pressure (7/25)
Four sentenced for stealing HHS funds from Oglala Sioux Tribe (7/25)
Unsettled: BIA questions Passamaquoddy forest management (7/25)
ASU News: First graduates of Indian studies master's program (7/25)
Blog: Tanka Fund aims to grow Indian Country's bison economy (7/25)
Opinion: A troubling relationship with Native peoples in Canada (7/25)
Opinion: Auction of tribal property in France sets bad precedent (7/25)
Puyallup Tribe cancels upcoming Ted Nugent concerts at casino (7/25)
Mayor gives conflicting view on Tohono O'odham Nation casino (7/25)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe plans to start work at gaming site (7/25)
Pojoaque Pueblo defends provisions in proposed gaming deal (7/25)
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.