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Friday, March 1, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Court Opts Not to Tackle Schools Admissions Policy

(CN) - The Supreme Court has declined to hear a case of four unidentified students who contended admission policies at Hawaii's Kamehameha Schools violates federal civil rights laws.

The network of schools was founded through a bequeath in the will of Bernice Pauahi Bishop, a descendant of Hawaiian royalty, and the great-granddaughter of Kamehameha the Great.

It states right on its website that "It is the policy of Kamehameha Schools to give preference to applicants of Hawaiian ancestry to the extent permitted by law."

Four unidentified students filed suit in 2007, after an earlier suit filed b in 2007, after an earlier suit filed by an unnamed student and his mother settled their own lawsuit challenging the admissions policy for $7 million.

The students requested anonymity out of fear of being retaliated against.

The federal court in Honolulu dismissed the case, ruling that it could not continue without disclosure of the names of the four plaintiffs. Last year, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed that decision, finding the students' fears were "unreasonable."

The Supreme Court declined to intervene without explanation.

"We have believed from the outset that if this case were to proceed it should do so as openly and honestly as possible, and we are gratified that the courts agree," Kamehameha Chief Executive Officer Dee Jay Mailer and the schools' trustees said in a message on the schools' website.

In a statement of their own, the students' lawyers, Eric Grant of Sacramento, Calif., and David Rosen of Honolulu, said they were disappointed because the refusal "means the illegality of Kamehameha's policy will continue to evade scrutiny."

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