HONOLULU - Native Hawaiians had occasion to celebrate Nov. 17, when a district court judge ruled from the bench that the Native-preference admissions policy of Kamehameha Schools is valid because the school is private and receives no federal funding.
The exclusive admissions policy is zealously guarded by Native Hawaiians, who consider the school a bequest from the reign of monarchs descended from King Kamehameha the Great. A violent intervention joined by U.S. forces overthrew the monarchy in 1892.
The school's admission policy has been challenged in two similar cases. The key point in both is that non-Native Hawaiians have been denied an education at Kamehameha because they are non-Native.
In the second case, the judge has taken the argumentation of both sides under advisement, with a ruling expected in early December.
But because the bench ruling in the first case is certain to be appealed to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, the second case too, whatever the decision rendered there, is likely to be considered jointly with the first by the appeals court, according to Eric Grant, lead attorney for the boys seeking admission to Kamehameha, as quoted in the Honolulu Advertiser.