Asian Americans as Face Against Affirmative Action

Asians and Affirmative Action, Affirmative Action and Discrimination Against Asians, Asian Americans and Ivy Admission

There’s a good piece up on “US News & World Report” that offers insight into why litigants are choosing Asian Americans as the new face against Affirmative Action.

We’ve written extensively over the years about a host of lawsuits that have been filed alleging that Asian Americans face discrimination in the highly selective college admissions process. And we have not been shy over the years to voice our opinion that Asian Americans do indeed face discrimination in this very process. So we read with great interest a piece by Joseph P. Williams for “US News & World Report” that paints a portrait of a man who has dedicated much of his life to ending the practice of Affirmative Action — a charge he is now leading grounded in the premise that Asian Americans face unjust discrimination in the process.

The man’s name is Edward Blum. If his name sounds familiar to our readers, it’s because we’ve surely mentioned him before on the pages of our college admissions blog as he leads the charge against the practice of Affirmative Action. Indeed he represented Abigail Fisher in her unsuccessful suit against the University of Texas at our nation’s highest court. As Williams writes in his piece, “Are Asians the New Face of Affirmative Action?“, “For more than two decades, Blum has been the architect of roughly a dozen lawsuits against affirmative action and race-based programs, part of his crusade to create a ‘color-blind’ society. Since 2009, four of them have made it to the Supreme Court, and legal analysts believe Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard University could join the list, perhaps as early as this year. But Blum’s attempt to argue that Asians are unfairly harmed by college affirmative-action programs may be backfiring. Though he’s spent more than two years recruiting students to become the public face of the lawsuit, Blum got only a handful of takers; his argument has sharply divided the Asian community, and spurred a backlash.”

The article in “US News & World Report” offers insight into why Mr. Blum chose to continue his charge against Affirmative Action grounded in the allegation that highly selective universities discriminate against Asian Americans. And it’s at least in part because in his 50-page dissent to the Fisher v. University of Texas case, Mr. Blum believes that Justice Samuel Alito was essentially urging the next complainant to argue against Affirmative Action with an Asian American plaintiff. With the appointment of Neil Gorsuch — and should he be confirmed as we expect — maybe just maybe Mr. Blum might actually have a shot at striking a blow to the practice of Affirmative Action.

But our guess is that he will deliver no such blow. And why? Well, for starters, litigants alleging discrimination against Asian Americans in the highly selective college admissions process keep choosing the wrong plaintiffs. It’s wise to choose Asian Americans as the face of discrimination in this process — but choose the right Asian Americans (e.g., singularly talented students rather than well-rounded ones). But, hey, this is a refrain we’ve been singing for quite a while. Mr. Blum, are you a reader of our college admissions blog or not? Because we’re scratching our heads.

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