The following is an excerpt of an announcement from JudicialWatch.org about a case filed with the United States Supreme Court challenging Harvard University's race-based affirmative action admissions program:
Judicial Watch announced today that it filed an amici curiae brief alongside the Allied Educational Foundation (AEF) in support of Students for Fair Admission’s petition for a writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court challenging the decision of the U.S. District Court for the First Circuit that upholds Harvard College’s race-based affirmative action admissions program. (Students for Fair Admission v. President & Fellows of Harvard College(No. 20-1199)).
Students for Fair Admission argues that Harvard’s admissions program intentionally discriminates against Asian Americans on the basis of race and violates Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which bans unconstitutional race-based admissions by public universities. Students for Fair Admission also argues that the Supreme Court should overrule the decision in Grutter v. Bollinger, whichheld that institutions of higher education could use race as a factor in admissions. The petitioners allege that this discriminatory admission’s policy violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause:
No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
In their brief, Judicial Watch and AEF note that the Equal Protection Clause was passed to stop discrimination:
[O]ne of the core purposes of the Equal Protection Clause is to guarantee that individuals will be free from discrimination based upon race. It should come as no surprise to anyone that legalizing the use of race in deciding who is admitted to schools of higher learning has caused enormous conflict, including among members of this Court.
The brief rejects that discriminating by race in admissions can be justified by “diversity” goals:
College and university administrators might promote greater cross-racial understanding and tolerance in their students, not by racially discriminating against applicants for admission to their schools, but by working to make their schools more tolerant of the expression of different points of view. Admissions programs that intentionally discriminate on the basis of race may themselves be negatively affecting the level of racial understanding and tolerance on today’s college campuses.
Judicial Watch and AEF argue that past Supreme Court rulings which failed to enforce the Equal Protection Clause’s prohibition against racial classifications have not stood the test of time. Citing Plessy v. Ferguson, Korematsu v. United States, and Hirabayashi v. United States they state:
Rulings by this Court which held that under the Equal Protection Clause individuals may be treated differently based on race have been wrongfully decided …
In each of these three cases, the Court ruled that treating individuals differently based on a racial classification did not violate the Equal Protection Clause. In each of these cases, the Court found that the government had justified its disparate treatment under the strict scrutiny test. These infamous cases demonstrate how misguided it is for this Court to sanction discriminatory racial classifications.
Harvard's response to the filing is due 5/17/21.
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