US judge rejects claim Harvard discriminates against Asians
Harvard’s undergraduate admissions programme doesn’t discriminate against Asian-American applicants, a federal judge ruled on Tuesday, rejecting a lawsuit brought by opponents of affirmative action and backed by the Trump administration. The suit was brought by a group hoping to eventually overturn US Supreme Court precedents that allow colleges to consider race as one factor in admissions, so long as quotas are not involved.
US district judge Allison Burroughs said Harvard’s programme survived legal scrutiny, and advanced the Ivy League school’s interest in having a diverse student body. “The court will not dismantle a very fine admissions programme that passes constitutional muster, solely because it could do better,” Burroughs said.
Students for Fair Admissions, a group founded by affirmative action opponent Edward Blum, had accused Harvard of engaging in illegal racial balancing. SFFA said Harvard’s policies limited Asian-Americans to no more than 20% of incoming classes, and left them less likely to be admitted than white, black and Hispanic applicants with comparable qualifications. Blum said SFFA was disappointed with the decision and would ask the federal appeals court to review it. “The documents, emails... SFFA presented revealed Harvard’s discrimination against Asian-Americans.” Harvard did not respond to requests for comment.