FILE PHOTO: Students and pedestrians walk through the Yard at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S., March 10, 2020. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston upheld a ruling that cleared Harvard University of discrimination against Asian American applicants. The case was filed by Students for Fair Admissions, which is a nonprofit headed by anti-affirmative action activist Edward Blum.

The judges found that Harvard’s admissions process met the legal precedent set by the Supreme Court. That precedent stated that colleges can, in a limited capacity, consider race as a factor when reviewing applicants in order to achieve a more diverse campus.

Blum plans to take the case to the Supreme Court, where the precedent could be overturned by the 6-3 conservative majority. Blum expressed disappointment in a written statement, adding, “This lawsuit is now on track to go up to the U.S. Supreme Court where we will ask the justices to end these unfair and unconstitutional race-based admissions policies at Harvard and all colleges and universities.”  

“The amount by which the share of admitted Asian American applicants fluctuates is greater than the amount by which the share of Asian American applicants fluctuates,” the judges ruled.

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

Federal appeals court rules that Harvard’s admissions policy is sound – The Boston Globe – 11/12/2020
“The issue before us is whether Harvard’s limited use of race in its admissions process in order to achieve diversity in the period in question is consistent with the requirements of Supreme Court precedent,” wrote Appeals Court Judge Sandra Lynch. “There was no error.” Students for Fair Admissions, which had brought the lawsuit against Harvard, on Thursday said the case will likely ultimately be decided by the US Supreme Court.

US appeals court upholds Harvard’s use of race in considering admissions – The Guardian – 11/12/2020
The court rejected claims by the group, which has the support of Donald Trump’s administration, that the Ivy League school engaged in impermissible “racial balancing” to benefit other preferred minority groups, such as Blacks and Hispanics. Representatives for Harvard and SFFA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Harvard Wins Appeals Fight Over Race in College Admissions – Bloomberg – 11/12/2020
It’s unclear whether the high court will agree to revisit the issue or choose to hear the Harvard case. The University of North Carolina and the University of Texas are defending themselves against similar challenges by SFFA, and President Donald Trump’s Justice Department has sued Yale University over its consideration of race. Those cases, which like Harvard’s come amid a fraught national reckoning on race, are in earlier stages.

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

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