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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Dismissal of students' suit challenging Kamehameha Schools policy upheld

Advertiser Staff

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

An appeals court has upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit that challenged the admissions policy at Kamehameha Schools.

Advertiser file photo

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A federal appellate court has upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit challenging the validity of Kamehameha Schools’ admissions policy filed in 2008 by four students.

The ruling today by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld earlier decisions last year by Hawaii Magistrate-Judge Barry Kurren and District Judge J. Michael Seabright that denied anonymity to the students on whose behalf the lawsuit challenged the admissions policy giving preference to Native Hawaiians..
“Few tenets of the United States justice system rank above the conflicting principles presented in this case: the transparency and openness of this nation’s court proceedings and the ability of private individuals to seek redress in the courts without fear for their safety,” the appellate court ruling said.
Attorneys for Kamehameha Schools argued they would be prejudiced in their defense if the plaintiffs were allowed to proceed anonymously.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs argued their clients would be in physical danger if they were publicly identified.
“We are sympathetic to the concerns of the (unnamed) children and their parents, but we recognize the paramount importance of open courts,” today’s decision said.