On December 5, 2006, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled en banc that the Kamehameha Schools could utilize an admissions policy that gave priority to Native Hawaiian students. The private schools were established in 1883 and educate about 5,100 students from kindergarten through high school. In August 2005, the Ninth Circuit had ruled that the admissions policy violated 42 U.S.C. § 1981, which prohibits racial discrimination in the making and enforcing of contracts. This earlier decision sparked large protests in downtown Honolulu.