indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Kill The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Divided court upholds Native school admissions policy
Wednesday, December 6, 2006

A Native Hawaiian school whose admissions policy favors Native students won a major ruling from a deeply-divided federal appeals court on Tuesday.

The private Kamehameha Schools was sued by a non-Native student who said the policy violated the U.S. Constitution. In August 2005, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed that the boys' civil rights were violated based on his race.

But after a rehearing, the case went in favor of the school. By an 8-7 vote, an en banc panel of the court said a private institution that receives no federal funds can admit students based on race, so long as the policy meets certain goals.

Those goals, the majority said, include improving the educational status of Native Hawaiians. The court cited studies and Congressional findings that showed Native students fell behind their peers on standardized tests, graduation rates, college attendance, poverty levels and other socioeconomic factors.

"In view of those facts and congressional findings, it is clear that a manifest imbalance exists in the K-12 educational arena in the state of Hawaii, with Native Hawaiians falling at the bottom of the spectrum in almost all areas of educational progress and success," Judge Susan P. Graber wrote. "Furthermore, it is precisely this manifest imbalance that the Kamehameha Schools' admissions policy seeks to address."

The court made another key finding that could help with federal recognition efforts. The majority noted that Congress has repeatedly treated Native Hawaiians as a distinct entity through numerous laws going back to the early 1900s and continuing through present times.

"These steadfast congressional policies favoring remedial measures for Native Hawaiians -- and specifically remedial educational measures, some of them even mentioning the Schools and the Bishop Trust approvingly by name -- inform our analysis of the validity of the Kamehameha Schools’ admissions policy," Graber said.

Judge William Fletcher took this reasoning a step further and said the case could be decided solely on this basis. Comparing Native Hawaiians to American Indians and Alaska Natives, he cited the "special relationship" Congress has maintained between the United States and indigenous peoples.

"Congress has invariably treated 'Native Hawaiian' as a political classification for purposes of providing exclusive educational and other benefits," Fletcher wrote in a concurrence signed by four other judges.

But a dissenting group of judges said the case should be decided solely on civil rights grounds. Led by Judge Jay S. Bybee, the group said the admissions policy acts as an "absolute racial bar" to students who are not Native Hawaiian.

Bybee also rejected the "special relationship" argument outlined by Fletcher. "Despite opportunity to do so, Congress has never formally recognized the sovereignty of Native Hawaiians," he wrote.

"Native Hawaiians have never been accorded formal recognition as a Native American tribe, and while the 'special trust relationship' between Congress and Native Hawaiians bears many similarities to the relationship between Congress and Native American tribes, the two relationships are not identical," he continued.

With four other judges filing dissents, their divergent views, as well as the subject matter, make the case ripe for Supreme Court review. Just this past Monday, the justices heard a dispute over affirmative action policies in public schools.

The Kamehameha Schools case has drawn significant public attention, with Hawaii's top officials backing the school despite its status as a private entity. Gov. Linda Lingle (R) also supports recognition for Native Hawaiians. The National Indian Education Association and the Alaska Federation of Natives submitted an amicus brief as well.

En Banc Decision:
Doe v. Kamehameha Schools (December 5, 2006)

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

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

Relevant Links:
Office of Hawaiian Affairs - http://www.oha.org

Related Stories:
Editorial: Another shot for Native Hawaiians (11/14)
Column: Native Hawaiian advocates weigh Plan B (07/11)
9th Circuit to hear Native Hawaiian school case (06/20)
Opinion: Native Hawaiian debate far from over (6/16)
Republicans traded votes for Native Hawaiian bill (6/14)
Some hope for Native Hawaiians in court case (6/13)
John Fund: Defeat for Sen. Akaka on Hawaiians (6/12)
Native Hawaiian debate ends in Senate (6/8)
Opinion: Native Hawaiian recognition 'racist' (6/7)
Opinion: Native Hawaiians have it better than Indians (6/6)
Commentary: GOP death wish on Native Hawaiians (6/6)
Bob Novak: GOPs lobby for Hawaiian Indians (6/5)
John Fund: A Native race-based government (6/5)
WSJ: Native Hawaiian recognition an ugly act (6/2)
Editorial: Unconstitutional Native Hawaiian bill (6/1)
Opinion: GOP traitors on Hawaiian recognition (5/31)
Sen. McCain voted against Hawaiian apology (5/29)
Editorial: Oppose Native Hawaiian recognition (5/24)
Hawaii governor lobbies for Native recognition (5/18)
Native Hawaiian recognition bill heads for debate (5/17)
Appeals court to rehear Native Hawaiian school case (02/23)
Miers cited Native Hawaiian work before withdrawing (10/28)
Bush questions legality of Native Hawaiian bill (09/28)
Opinion: 'Racist' Hawaiian recognition bill (9/22)
Roberts mentions Indian law work on final day (9/19)
Hawaii governor lobbies Senate on Hawaiian recognition (9/8)
Native Hawaiian work an issue for Roberts (9/7)
Linda Chavez: GOP panders on Native Hawaiian bill (9/1)
Native Hawaiian bill set for debate in Senate (8/29)
Opinion: GOP policy rejects Native Hawaiians (08/26)
Amendments in the works for Native Hawaiian bill (8/25)
Slade Gorton: Don't recognize Native Hawaiians (08/19)
Letter: Native Hawaiians are indigenous too (08/08)
Editorial: Native Hawaiians never had a government (8/4)
Appeals court blocks Native Hawaiian school policy (08/03)
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 © 2000-2006 Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
First Lady Michelle Obama shares story of hope with Indian school (5/26)
Remarks by First Lady Michelle Obama at Santa Fe Indian School (5/26)
Gary Davis of NCAIED joins Small Business Administration council (5/26)
Arne Vainio: A mother's gift carried me through many life journeys (5/26)
Native Sun News: Tribes score big in fights against energy projects (5/26)
Lakota Country Times: Education Secretary hears from Pine Ridge (5/26)
Ivan Star Comes Out: Ending Whiteclay beer sales starts at home (5/26)
Vi Waln: Rosebud Sioux youth lead efforts to bring relatives home (5/26)
Gyasi Ross: Drug epidemic sweeping through Native communities (5/26)
Jacqueline Keeler: Shameful and skewed poll on racist NFL name (5/26)
Interview with Melvin Monette about Cobell scholarship program (5/26)
Auction house in France won't stop sale of sacred tribal property (5/26)
United Keetoowah Band installs new leader after impeachment (5/26)
Kewa Pueblo builds new community around historic trading post (5/26)
Eastern Cherokee elder translates 'Charlotte's Web' into Tsalagi (5/26)
Puyallup Tribe works to keep language alive for new generations (5/26)
Iowa Tribe offers free play on poker website ahead of full launch (5/26)
Alabama-Coushatta Tribe offers gaming options closer to home (5/26)
Kaw Nation receives national award for tribal gaming initiatives (5/26)
Indian Health Service reform efforts gaining steam on Capitol Hill (5/25)
Indian Health Service announces more hires at troubled hospital (5/25)
Keepseagle attorneys open application process for $38M in grants (5/25)
Three tribes enter cooperative agreements for buy-back program (5/25)
New leader selected for HUD's Office of Native American Programs (5/25)
Indian relay racers gear up for event hosted by Muckleshoot Tribe (5/25)
Cronkite News: Tribes seek return of property up for sale in France (5/25)
Native Sun News: Anti-suicide effort incorporates tribal traditions (5/25)
Lakota Country Times: Pine Ridge youth showcase film projects (5/25)
Mark Trahant: Native vote victory for Tawna Sanchez in Oregon (5/25)
Brandon Ecoffey: Lakota people come together in times of need (5/25)
Editorial: Tribes must come up with plan for return of Black Hills (5/25)
John McCoy: Disenrollment and blood quantum are not our way (5/25)
Adrian Jawort: Addressing race relations and healing in Montana (5/25)
Fort Peck Tribes oppose new directive on transgender students (5/25)
Leader of United Keetoowah Band ousted through impeachment (5/25)
Agua Caliente Band launches software development company (5/25)
Sen. Barrasso to chair platform committee for GOP convention (5/25)
Cowlitz Tribe welcomes discussions with opponent over casino (5/25)
Little Traverse Bay Bands open doors to Class II gaming facility (5/25)
Tuolumne Band celebrates 15th birthday with casino expansion (5/25)
Former Winnebago Tribe casino employee denies theft charge (5/25)
Proposed rule brings LGBT equality to tribal housing programs (5/24)
Chairman of Quapaw Tribe endorses Democrat Hillary Clinton (5/24)
Appropriations bill blocks new federal recognition regulation (5/24)
Native American Children's Safety Act clears final Hill hurdle (5/24)
9th Circuit won't rehear Tohono O'odham Nation gaming case (5/24)
Lakota Country Times: Army promises return of tribal children (5/24)
Native Sun News: New business sprouts up at Wounded Knee (5/24)
Mark Trahant: Tulalip citizen lands role in Democratic platform (5/24)
Brandon Ecoffey: Pine Ridge unites for search of missing men (5/24)
Men who went missing found dead on Pine Ridge Reservation (5/24)
Billy Mills: Flawed poll can't justify use of team's racist mascot (5/24)
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.