“Harvard’s admission program passes constitutional muster in that it satisfies the dictates of strict scrutiny.”
This has been a closely watched case for months. Now a judge has ruled in Harvard’s favor.
Inside Higher Ed reports:
Judge Upholds Harvard’s Admissions Policies
A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Harvard University’s admissions policies do not discriminate against Asian American applicants.
The 130-page ruling by Judge Allison Burroughs of the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts came in a much-watched case brought by a long-standing critic of affirmative action on behalf of a group of Asian American plaintiffs.
Her decision upholding the Ivy League university’s policies confounded the predictions of many commentators, who had seen Harvard’s approach as vulnerable.
While she said Harvard’s admissions approach was “not perfect,” “the Court will not dismantle a very fine admissions program that passes constitutional muster, solely because it could do better.”
“For purposes of this case, at least for now, ensuring diversity at Harvard relies, in part, on race conscious admissions,” Burroughs wrote in her conclusion. “Harvard’s admission program passes constitutional muster in that it satisfies the dictates of strict scrutiny. The students who are admitted to Harvard and choose to attend will live and learn surrounded by all sorts of people, with all sorts of experiences, beliefs and talents. They will have the opportunity to know and understand one another beyond race, as whole individuals with unique histories and experiences.
“It is this, at Harvard and elsewhere that will move us, one day, to the point where we see that race is a fact, but not the defining fact and not the fact that tells us what is important, but we are not there yet. Until we are, race conscious admissions programs that survive strict scrutiny will have an important place in society and help ensure that colleges and universities can offer a diverse atmosphere that fosters learning, improves scholarship, and encourages mutual respect and understanding.”
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