The Allied Educational Foundation (AEF) has filed a lawsuit with the Supreme Court in favor of Students for Fair Admission’s petition for a writ of certiorari appealing the First Circuit’s ruling upholding Harvard College’s race-based affirmative action admissions policy (Students for Fair Admission v. President & Fellows of Harvard College (No. 20-1199)).
Students for Equal Admissions has urged the Supreme Court to hear their case against Harvard University for discrimination against Asian students in the admissions process. There’s a case to be made that Harvard’s admissions policy knowingly discriminates against Asian-Americans on the grounds of race, in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.
The Act prohibits public colleges from making unfair race-based admissions decisions. The case contends that the Supreme Court should reverse the Grutter v. Bollinger ruling, which allowed colleges and universities to include race as a consideration in admissions. The petitioners claim that this unequal admissions program violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment:
No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
The Equal Protection Clause was enacted to prevent discrimination, according to their brief:
[O]ne of the core purposes of the Equal Protection Clause is to guarantee that individuals will be free from discrimination based upon race. It should come as no surprise to anyone that legalizing the use of race in deciding who is admitted to schools of higher learning has caused enormous conflict, including among members of this Court.
The brief refutes the claim that “diversity” targets would justify racial discrimination in admissions:
College and university administrators might promote greater cross-racial understanding and tolerance in their students, not by racially discriminating against applicants for admission to their schools, but by working to make their schools more tolerant of the expression of different points of view. Admissions programs that intentionally discriminate on the basis of race may themselves be negatively affecting the level of racial understanding and tolerance on today’s college campuses.
Previous Supreme Court decisions that failed to impose the Equal Rights Clause’s ban of racial classifications, according to Judicial Watch and AEF, have not stood the test of time. They say that, citing Plessy v. Ferguson, Korematsu v. United States, and Hirabayashi v. United States.
Rulings by this Court which held that under the Equal Protection Clause individuals may be treated differently based on race have been wrongfully decided.
In each of these three cases, the Court ruled that treating individuals differently based on a racial classification did not violate the Equal Protection Clause. In each of these cases, the Court found that the government had justified its disparate treatment under the strict scrutiny test. These infamous cases demonstrate how misguided it is for this Court to sanction discriminatory racial classifications.
Judicial Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union say that the Supreme Court should consider this lawsuit because it has refused to set a consistent precedent on the topic of race-based admissions systems for lower courts to decide on for 43 years:
The Bakke line of cases has failed to provide guidance to lower courts and university administrators about what constitutes a permissible race-based admission program. Bakke has led to five rulings over 43 years, in which there are 26 separate opinions. In each, the Court attempts to explain the constitutional rationale for allowing race-based preferences—even though these plainly conflict with the original meaning and text of the Equal Protection Clause.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton, on the other hand, stated:
Court-sanctioned racial discrimination in college admissions is contrary to federal law and the U.S. Constitution,” and then “The Supreme Court should stop abusing its powers to protect racial discrimination and uphold the rights of Asian students and other innocents punished for being the wrong race by Harvard and other universities.
The Allied Educational Foundation is a non-profit educational and humanitarian organization devoted to improving people’s lives through education. To achieve this aim, the Foundation has undertaken a series of initiatives, including, though not limited to, educational and health conferences both domestically and internationally. Judicial Watch and AEF have often worked to tackle government and judicial misconduct and encourage a return to integrity and morals in the public interest.