Final Arguments Presented in Harvard Affirmative Action Case


Final Arguments Presented in Harvard Affirmative Action Case



The final briefs have been submitted in a Boston courthouse by both sides of Harvard’s well-publicized legal battle over a 2014 lawsuit regarding discrimination in admissions against Asian Americans. The case is now in the hands of U.S. District Judge Allison D. Burroughs, although  the ruling it is expected to be appealed regardless of its resolution and eventually reach the Supreme Court.

In their final arguments, Harvard focused on pointing out that the Students for Fair Admissions group behind the lawsuit has failed to point out a single student as being clearly discriminated against. In previous Affirmative Action cases that have come before the Supreme Court, there has been an individual who has stepped forward to say that they were wrongfully rejected from an institution, so that has become an important part of the legal precedent for this kind of case. Students for Fair Admissions argues that “personal scores” are used as a part of the admissions process in order to systematically discriminate against Asian American applicants, who are generally scored lower than other demographics in this category.

Given the current makeup of the Supreme Court, since the retirement of Justice Kennedy, there is not currently a majority of Justices with a record of voting in favor of affirmative action in major cases. This case has the potential to change college admissions as we know it, but it looks like the answer won’t be determined here in Boston. Judge Burroughs is expected to take some time to release her decision, but it likely that this case will still be in the news on and off campus in the coming months and even years.

Evelyn Gray ‘21 ( writes news for the Indy.