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14 Jun, 2021 15:22

Supreme Court asks Biden admin whether it should challenge Harvard’s race consideration in admissions

Supreme Court asks Biden admin whether it should challenge Harvard’s race consideration in admissions

The US Supreme Court may soon be hearing a case that could drastically change affirmative action on college campuses. But first they want the Biden administration’s view.

The Supreme Court on Monday requested a brief from US Acting Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar on the case, which was filed by Students for Fair Admissions against Harvard, claiming the school discriminates against Asian students and gives preferential treatment based on skin color.

Challengers to Harvard say it has violated federal civil rights laws, while lower courts have thus far upheld the Ivy League school’s right to consider race in its admissions process. The current case presents the Supreme Court with the choice of overturning or upholding a 2003 ruling affirming schools’ rights to their admissions processes.

If the case is heard, it could mean a landmark decision sometime next year.

Many liberal critics have expressed concern over the fact that the Supreme Court currently has a conservative majority, meaning the precedent for affirmative action policies – which typically allow schools to base admissions on skin color on a limited basis – could be drastically changed.

Harvard has pushed back against claims of discrimination, saying if it did not consider race in its admissions process, student enrollment for black and Hispanic students would drop.

“Universities across the country have followed this precedent in structuring their admissions processes,” the school said in a statement. “And the American public has looked to this precedent for assurance that the nation recognizes and values the benefits of diversity and that the path to leadership is open to all.”

In 2019, Harvard was engulfed in a college admissions scandal after being accused of discriminating against Asian-American applicants. A federal court, however, ruled that Harvard did not illegally discriminate against Asian Americans, with US District Judge Allison Burroughs declaring, “The court will not dismantle a very fine admissions program that passes constitutional muster, solely because it could do better.”

Also on rt.com Harvard apologizes after trying to help fight anti-Asian racism by telling students ‘You may wish that you weren't Asian’