The baton has been passed to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. UNC marks the latest school asked to defend its consideration of race in the admissions process. In a trial that will take place over these next two weeks before U.S. District Judge Loretta C. Biggs in Winston-Salem, N.C., UNC will be defending itself against allegations that the university violates federal civil rights law by offering preferential treatment to African American and Latinx applicants over more qualified white and Asian American applicants. And what group is suing UNC? The very same group that previously filed suit against Harvard, lost the case, and is now appealing the decision: Students for Fair Admissions. The group, once again, is backed by conservative activist Edward Blum, the one-man band fighting Affirmative Action.
As Melissa Korn reports for The Wall Street Journal in a piece entitled “Latest Trial Over College Affirmative Action to Begin in North Carolina,” “Unlike the Harvard suit, which focused on whether Harvard held Asian-American applicants to a higher standard than applicants of other races, the lawsuit against UNC is more of a dispute over the size of preferences for Black, Hispanic and Native American applicants, compared with white and Asian-American applicants. The plaintiffs also allege that UNC didn’t fully pursue race-neutral alternatives to diversify its student body. Students for Fair Admissions said in court filings that its analysis of UNC’s admissions data showed race and ethnicity were a ‘determinative’ factor for many underrepresented minorities, particularly for those applicants from outside the state.”
We’ll be reporting on the SFFA v. UNC case over these next two weeks. It will be interesting to see if UNC will be able to claim victory over the group as Harvard did just a little over a year ago. Stay tuned for updates.
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