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Federal appeals court to reconsider Hawaii native-only school admissions policy

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] has granted a rehearing [court order, PDF] in a case challenging the native-only admissions policy of a Hawaiian school. In August 2005, the Ninth Circuit ruled [PDF opinion; JURIST report] that the admissions policy of the Kamehameha Schools [education website], which accepts no federal funding, violated 42 USC 1981 [text], a law forbidding racial discrimination in making and enforcing contracts. The rehearing will be held before a 15-member en banc panel of the court, and school board members are hopeful it will result in a reversed verdict [Kamehameha Schools statement].

The admissions challenge was brought by an unnamed Hawaiian student who will likely not be able to attend the Kamehameha Schools before his graduation this year because of the rehearing. After the court's original decision, thousands of Hawaiians protested the decision [JURIST report], claiming the school's policy is necessary to remedy economic and educational disadvantages suffered by natives. The Honolulu Advertiser has more.

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