The Fate of Harvard’s Admissions Practices

Harvard Admission, Admission to Harvard, Harvard Affirmative Action

The fate of Harvard’s admissions practices are now in Judge Burroughs’ hands (photo credit: Chensiyuan).

Will Harvard University be ordered to change its admissions practices? Will a victory for Students For Fair Admissions lead to a case before the United States Supreme Court in which the consideration of race in college admissions decision-making stands trial? Or will Harvard University soundly defeat SFFA and thereby have to make no changes to its admissions practices? The fate of Harvard’s admissions practices — and ultimately the fate of Affirmative Action — is now in the hands of one person and one person only. That person happens to be a United States District Judge for the District of Massachusetts. Her name is Judge Allison Burroughs.

The Wolf of Discrimination

Just yesterday, closing arguments in the SFFA v. Harvard case wrapped up. As reports Zack Huffman for “Courthouse News Services” in a piece entitled “Fate of Harvard Admissions Suit Left in Judge’s Hands,” “‘Someday this will be written about in the history books, and those books may say that Harvard let the wolf of discrimination through the front door,’ said Adam Mortara, of Bartlit Beck. ‘We hope those books will say this court slammed the door shut.’ Harvard’s attorney, Bill Lee, closed, ‘The goal of SFFA is to eliminate all consideration of race in admissions. The founder of SFFA pursued that in Fisher I. He was unsuccessful. He pursued it on behalf of white applicants in Fisher II and was unsuccessful.’ Lee referenced Mortara’s closing statement, arguing that the ‘real wolves’ were ‘those who would dramatically reduce African-American and Hispanic students on our college campuses today.'”

So how will U.S. District Court Judge Allison Burroughs rule in this case that has held the nation’s attention? Only time will tell. It could be weeks, if not months before Judge Burroughs — who was denied admission to Harvard as a high school senior in spite of her legacy status — renders a decision. She mentioned in court that she may not rule until February. We will surely update our readers as soon as the verdict is in.


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