Justice Department sides with Asian-Americans suing Harvard over admissions

Feds back Asian Americans in lawsuit accusing Harvard of discrimination in admissions policy

Feds back Asian Americans in lawsuit accusing Harvard of discrimination in admissions policy

Justice officials said Harvard admits that, on average, it scores Asian-American applicants lower on this "personal rating" than applicants of other races.

"This argument comes on the heels of the administration's decision to reverse the Obama-era guidance on affirmative action", ACLU said.

The Justice Department offered a public show of support in court Thursday to a group suing Harvard for what it says is discrimination against Asian-American applicants to the elite university.

"Harvard has failed to carry its demanding burden to show that its use of race does not inflict unlawful racial discrimination on Asian Americans", the statement filed in Massachusetts District Court said. The court past year upheld the race-conscious admissions program at the University of Texas in a tight, and closely-watched ruling.

"Harvard does not discriminate against applicants from any group, and will continue to vigorously defend the legal right of every college and university to consider race as one factor among many in college admissions, which the Supreme Court has consistently upheld for more than 40 years", the university said in a statement.

"While the DOJ's brief does not challenge Supreme Court precedent granting universities the right to freely select their own student body - presumably because it can not do so at this stage of the litigation - the Trump administration has advocated for "race-blind" policies, which Harvard and virtually all other universities have found are demonstrably insufficient to achieve meaningful diversity, given the reality of historic and continuing racial discrimination in this country".

"Students for Fair Admissions is gratified that, after careful analysis of the evidence submitted in this case, the US Department of Justice has concluded Harvard's admissions policies are in violation of our nation's civil rights laws", Blum said.

They contend that Harvard has systematically discriminated against them by artificially capping the number of qualified Asian-Americans from attending the school in order to advance less qualified students of other races.

The case, Students For Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President And Fellows Of Harvard College, was brought to the District Court in MA by students and parents who believe that the prestigious university's admissions process negatively impacts Asian-American applicants.

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The Department of Justice picked sides Thursday in an ongoing case against Harvard University.

Also on Thursday, a group of more than 500 social scientists and scholars filed a court document that defends Harvard's admissions policies.

Harvard has said that a complete review of its data "does not discriminate against applicants from any group, including Asian-Americans, whose rate of admission has grown 29 percent over the last decade", as Chappell noted.

The Justice Department's court filing opposes Harvard's request to dismiss the lawsuit before trial.

"The record evidence demonstrates that Harvard's race-based admissions process significantly disadvantages Asian-American applicants compared to applicants of other racial group", it said. Democrats criticized the decision, saying that the Trump administration was taking away protections for minorities. The Department of Justice statement says this is based on "subjective factors" and could amount to discrimination.

She said the department's filing "ignores the well-documented racial bias embedded in grades and standardized test scores".

Asian-Americans now make up 22.2% of students admitted to the university, according to the university website.

Park went on to assert that "Asian-Americans have long benefited from policies to increase equal opportunity and still do".

"No American should be denied admission to school due to their race".

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