US judge re­jects claim Har­vard dis­crim­i­nates against Asians

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Global -

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.

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