Amy Coney Barrett has Harvard and Yale worried. Not because her law degree breaks their lock on Supreme Court justices. But because these Ivy League schools’ use of race in their college admissions is now before the federal courts—and they fear Judge Barrett will be the decisive vote against them if she’s confirmed to the Supreme Court.
No doubt Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee will ask about affirmative action this week as Judge Barrett goes through her hearings. As the senators’ opening statements Monday indicated, however, for now they are concentrating their fire on the threat she’s said to pose to abortion rights and ObamaCare.
But as Judge Barrett herself has pointed out, though the Supreme Court may give states more latitude to regulate or restrict the procedure, the “core holding” of Roe—a woman’s right to an abortion—is unlikely to change. As for ObamaCare, it’s true that a week after the election the Supreme Court will hear a case asking it to strike down the entire Affordable Care Act. But notwithstanding Sen. Kamala Harris’s assertion during Monday’s hearing that the Barrett nomination is part of a Republican plot to strip “135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions” of their ObamaCare protections, it’s far from clear that even the Court’s conservatives buy the legal argument for doing so.
In sharp contrast, race discrimination in college admissions may be one area where progressive fears are justified. Right now Harvard and Yale are each in federal court defending themselves against separate charges that their admissions process unfairly discriminates against whites and Asians in favor of Latinos and African-Americans.
The Harvard case was brought by a group called Students for Fair Admissions. Harvard won the first round, when a district court judge ruled that penalizing qualified Asian-Americans is “justified by the compelling interest in diversity and all the benefits that flow from a diverse college population.” With the First U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals readying to weigh in, the Justice Department last week filed a similar case against Yale. Whichever way these cases turn out, they are destined for the Supreme Court.
Read the full piece from the Wall Street Journal here.
The university’s admissions practices are not, in fact, designed to accept the best people. More from Bloomberg here.
It has been a momentous year for Students for Fair Admissions. I encourage you to read our annual report to the members (available here: SFFA Annual Report).
It has been a momentous year for Students for Fair Admissions. I encourage you to read our annual report to the members (available here: SFFA Annual Report). In this report, I discuss our litigation efforts in our Harvard case, including our motion for summary judgment and our upcoming trial. I also discuss our ongoing cases against the University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill and the University of Texas at Austin.
It has been another exciting year for Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA). We have continued to vigorously litigate two landmark lawsuits against universities discriminating against our members, and we have travelled the country advocating for the equal protection of individuals regardless of race or ethnicity. As always, your membership is critical to our success.
I encourage you to read our second Annual Report to our members (available here). In this report, we discuss how SFFA has advocated on your behalf, describe our plans for next year, and invite you to join us in our continuing efforts to obtain equal rights for all.
“Here’s hoping the next stage of the affirmative-action debate in higher education finally has arrived.
Last year’s Supreme Court decision upholding Michigan’s ban on racial preferences in public-university admissions included a passionate dissent by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who argued that such policies benefit “racial minorities,” by which she means blacks and Hispanics. Nowhere in Justice Sotomayor’s 58-page opinion will you find any mention of how affirmative action affects Asian-Americans, the fastest-growing racial group in the country. The omission is common among defenders of campus double standards for favored minorities, and it’s starting to annoy an increasing number of Asian-Americans. This is progress.
A coalition of more than 60 Chinese, Indian, Korean and Pakistani organizations is asking the U.S. departments of Justice and Education to investigate possible racial bias in undergraduate admissions at Harvard. The complaint announced on Friday, echoing a lawsuit filed by another group in November, accuses Harvard and other elite institutions of holding Asian-Americans to far higher standards than other applicants, a practice used to limit the number of Jewish students at Ivy League schools in the first half of the 20th century.”
Read more at wsj.com