Court denies motion to dismiss the lawsuit, but did not grant a prelminary injunction as to the current 8th grade class in the middle of the admissions process. The case moves forward into discovery and possibly another injunction hearing in the fall.
We previously covered a lawsuit alleging that proposed changes in admissions criteria to the top-ranked public Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJ) were motivated by a desire to reduce the percentage of students of Asian descent at the school, and to increase the percentages of Blacks and Hispanics.
See these posts for background and allegations in the lawsuit:
- Lawsuit Alleges Anti-Asian Discrimination In Admissions Change At Top-Ranked Virginia High School
- Case Update: Preliminary Injunction Sought Against Alleged Anti-Asian Admissions Changes At VA’s Thomas Jefferson High
A hearing was held in court today before Judge Claude M. Hilton on both the motion for preliminary injunction and motion to dismiss. My understanding is that the Judge expressed skepticism with the defense arguments that the policy changes were race neutral, particularly in light of the public record of school board member statements and the obvious intention to reduce the Asian enrollment for diversity purposes. But while allowing the case to move forward, the Judge also did not want to issue an injunction that would disrupt the selection process for 8th graders (incoming high school students) which is currently in process. Normally this process takes place in the fall, but was delayed this year to the spring. An injunction still could be considered for the current 7th graders who will be 8th graders next fall when they apply.
The court issued a docket entry reflecting the ruling, but has not yet issued an Order (which may contain an Opinion explaining the ruling).
So the case moves forward to discovery. The Judge apparently expressed that perhaps the case could be resolved by the time the next incoming class applies in the fall, but that’s far from certain. A lot will depend on how hard the school officials demanding racial and ethnic redisribution continue to fight the case.
I bevieve that this is the first such case to survive a motion to dismiss. As we covered previously, a similar case in Boston was dismissed and is on appeal.DONATE
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