The lawsuit against Harvard University brought by a group known as Students for Fair Admissions, a group that hopes to eliminate alleged Asian American discrimination in Harvard’s admissions practices, is moving forward. Today, a United States district court judge proposed that the case — first filed in 2014 — will go to trial in October. As our regular readers may remember, Harvard had been pushing for an earlier trial date, whereas the SFFA group preferred an October trial date so as to afford them more time to prepare their case against the elite institution. The judge also proposed ground rules today for confidential Harvard admissions records to be brought to the public light in the coming months. As anticipated, Harvard is fighting tooth and nail to avoid having to release components of these highly sensitive records.
Lawsuit Challenging Harvard’s Admissions Practices Moves Forward
Joan Biskupic reports for “CNN” in a piece entitled “Race case against Harvard moves forward,” “The case against Harvard has drawn significant outside attention. Last week, the Trump administration sent a letter to the court on behalf of Students for Fair Admissions in its quest to avoid any pre-emptive redactions. The Department of Justice is separately engaged in its own administrative investigation of possible Harvard discrimination against Asian-American applicants. Siding with Harvard is a group of prospective students, including black and Latino students, who say they want to protect Harvard’s ‘right to consider race in admissions to the full extent allowed by law.’ They are represented by the long-standing Washington, DC-based Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.”
Litigation Won’t End Asian American Discrimination in Admissions
As our regular readers know well, we agree that highly selective colleges do discriminate against Asian American applicants. In fact, we’re outspoken on this issue from atop our soap box in college admissions. But we’ve also made clear that we don’t believe litigation brought by groups like Students for Fair Admissions will bring this discrimination to a close. And we don’t agree with many of their assertions — such as the notion that quotas exist for Asian American applicants at these institutions. That’s utter nonsense and it is an offense to so many Jewish American applicants who truly did face quotas at times of heightened antisemitism.
We’ve long articulated that it is not litigation that will bring Asian American discrimination in admissions to an end. Rather, it will be the people, coming together, demanding change. To end with a quote from the Founder of Ivy Coach, Bev Taylor, in a “Huffington Post” piece in which she outlines why the strategy to end Asian American discrimination in college admissions is all wrong, “Selma. Seneca Falls. Stonewall. These were the respective birthplaces of the civil rights, women’s rights, and gay rights movements in America. These movements began with the populace. Not in the courtroom. These movements achieved landmark successes in the courtroom that will echo through the ages. But they weren’t born there.” Start with the populace.