On Thursday, Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) requested the US Supreme Court take up their lawsuit against Harvard College, challenging admissions policies which favor some racial groups over others.
As opponents of affirmative action, SFFA is appealing to court justices to reverse Harvard’s admissions program, which it alleges is racially discriminatory toward Asian-American applicants.
In court documents, SFFA asserted that admissions officers often stereotype Asian Americans and penalize them because “they lack leadership and confidence and are less likable and kind.” However, these arguments have previously been rejected in proceedings with lower US courts.
The anti-affirmative action group has now asked the court to overrule the lower courts, arguing that Harvard has not always looked at each race equally and that this sort of discrimination will continue, especially for Asian-American students, until it is stopped.
What Happens Next?
With racial tensions at an all-time high, the outcome of this case could have a profound impact on higher education admissions policies. Legal experts remarked that the SFFA appeal gives the Supreme Court the power to stop more than four decades of race-based admissions practices.
While lower US courts have previously ruled in favor of Harvard, the Supreme Court now has a 6-3 conservative majority, which may tilt the balance away from affirmative action policies still in place at many colleges and universities.
In its statement, the college said that it “remains deeply committed to expanding opportunity and creating a diverse community because both are essential to fulfilling our mission of educating engaged citizens and leaders. As earlier court decisions have confirmed, our admissions policies are consistent with Supreme Court precedent. We will continue to vigorously defend the right of Harvard College.”
The Biden Justice Department dropped a similar lawsuit against Yale over the school’s alleged discrimination against Asian American applicants brought during the Trump administration.