Appeals Court Rejects Affirmative Action Suit Against Harvard

November 12, 2020

A federal appeals court ruled Harvard University’s limited consideration of race in its admissions practices was a legitimate attempt to achieve diversity and did not violate the Constitution, according to NBC News.

The ruling by the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals is a defeat for a group of Asian-Americans who claimed Harvard discriminated against them in admissions. The Justice Department led by Attorney General Jeff Sessions sided with Asian-Americans in 2018, saying “Asian-Americans face a significant disadvantage in Harvard’s admissions program compared to applicants of other races.”

The lawsuit was filed in 2014 by Students for Fair Admissions—led by Edward Blum. The suit forced Harvard to reveal the mechanics of its admissions practices and found some interesting studies Harvard intentionally hid. Although Harvard is a private university, it receives millions in federal grants, requiring it to abide by federal civil rights laws, according to NBC News.

Harvard conducted a study from 1995 to 2013, which showed Asian-Americans had the highest scores of any race in SATs. Harvard buried these findings.

Asian-Americans also had the highest grades of any other race, yet Asian-Americans were always capped around 20% at Harvard. Harvard University was forced to publish their ‘dirty little secret’ through its on-campus newspaper, The Harvard Crimson.

Harvard never apologized for lying. Instead, they completely shifted the argument from merit to diversity. All those years of stating they value merit disappeared overnight and now all of a sudden, it’s about diversity, not merit. What a magical string of events.

Asian-American groups plan to appeal the case once again and will likely be picked up by the Supreme Court in 2021, dominated by a 6-3 Conservative majority. The Supreme Court will more than likely side with Asian-Americans.

For its new class of 2024, Harvard said, Asian Americans make up 24.6% of the class; African Americans 13.9%; Latinx 11.8%; and Native Americans and Native Hawaiians, 2.0%. The remaining category, 47.7%, is overwhelmingly White students, according to CNN.

Feature Image via Center for American Progress

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