The Ivy Coach Daily

June 17, 2022

Affirmative Action at Harvard

Alan Dershowitz recently penned a piece in The Wall Street Journal on Affirmative Action.

Alan Dershowitz, the constitutional law scholar and professor emeritus of Harvard Law School who sure does love to see his mug on TV, recently penned an editorial for The Wall Street Journal calling for an end to the consideration of race in Harvard’s admissions process. As Dershowitz points out, the United States Supreme Court will be rendering a verdict in its next term on the Students for Fair Admissions Inc. v. President & Fellows of Harvard College case in which the legality of Affirmative Action will be decided. And, as he points out, it is expected that the court will rule against Harvard. While many believe the decision will be 6-2 (Justice Brown Jackson has recused herself from hearing the case), we believe the decision will be 5-3 with Chief Justice Roberts crossing sides to join his liberal colleagues. Either way, we don’t see how Affirmative Action will withstand the Supreme Court challenge. But, that being said, Dershowitz’s argument that the end of Affirmative Action will bring about a meritocracy in elite college admissions is deeply flawed.

As he writes in his piece entitled “Harvard Needs Merit-Based Admissions,” “The time has come, however, for universities to abandon their efforts to achieve superficial, artificial diversity based on race. The coming decision would provide American schools with an opportunity to develop admission criteria based on academic achievement and potential—while abolishing such non-merit-based criteria as legacy status, athletics, geography and other nonacademic preferences. There would be resistance to getting rid of these advantages, but it could be done.”

Earth to Alan Dershowitz, but what are you talking about? Maybe you had too much time in the sun with your old pal Jeffrey Epstein on his island in the Caribbean? In any case, the elimination of Affirmative Action will not spell the end of the preferential treatment in admissions offered to legacy candidates. It will not spell the end of the preferential treatment in admissions offered to recruited athletes. It will not spell the end of the preferential treatment in admissions offered to students from underrepresented areas. Why would eliminating Affirmative Action provide “an opportunity” to eliminate legacy admission or the admission of recruited athletes? What does this have to do with the price of tea in China, Alan?

The topic of Affirmative Action always inspires lots of comments — particularly from our more conservative readers. We’ll publish your comments, whether we agree or disagree with them, so long as you keep them cordial. So post away!

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