SCOTUS delays action on Harvard affirmative action case

The Supreme Court of the United States has delayed taking action on a lawsuit alleging that Harvard University systematically holds Asian students to a higher standard than other applicants.

Harvard University filed a brief opposing the Students for Fair Admissions’ recent appeal to the Supreme Court in May.

Earlier today, the Supreme Court of the United States delayed taking action on a lawsuit alleging that Harvard University systematically holds Asian students to a higher standard than other applicants.

The Associated Press reported on Monday the court offered the Department of Justice an opportunity to file a brief in the case, giving the Biden administration a chance to take a stance. The decision, however, delays a judgement on whehter the court will hear the case.

Harvard University filed a brief on May 17, opposing the Students for Fair Admissions’ (SFFA) petition for appeal in its case against the school. 

As Campus Reform recently reported, Students for Fair Admissions appealed its case to the Supreme Court of the United States.

[RELATED: Students for Fair Admissions appeals Harvard case to Supreme Court, expands challenge to Yale]

SFFA believes that “Yale, Harvard, the University of North Carolina, the University of Texas and many dozens of other highly competitive colleges and universities employ admissions practices that are discriminatory, unnecessary, and unconstitutional.” 

A Harvard University press release says that Students for Fair Admissions “provides no good reason for the Court to revisit its precedent or the lower court decisions.”

“Unable to seriously challenge the rejection of its claims under existing law, SFFA asks the Court to overrule more than 40 years of decisions regarding the limited consideration of race in university admissions,” explains Harvard’s brief in opposition to Students for Fair Admissions’ request for a writ of certiorari.

[RELATED: Ivy League schools accused of anti-Asian discrimination condemn anti-Asian hate]

Instead, the Harvard brief states that the Supreme Court has “recognized that universities have a compelling interest in pursuing the educational benefits that flow from student bodies that are diverse along many dimensions, including race.”

“Endorsing SFFA’s view at this moment in our Nation’s history — when the need to cultivate greater tolerance, acceptance and understanding is particularly acute — would be a tragic mistake,” continues the brief.

National Association of Scholars Director of Research David Randall told Campus Reform that “at a time when the woke Establishment seeks to subject to identity group preferences, a racist ideology (Critical Race Theory) that justifies those preference, and the illiberal suppression of all expression that opposes that theory, America needs to reaffirm the principle that each individual citizen is equal under the law and deserves equal opportunity throughout society.”

“Our nation also needs to put those principles into practice, especially in the universities, which are the strongholds of the woke Establishment,” he continued. “The fact, of course, is that Harvard discriminates in its admissions process. Harvard claims that its discrimination is justified by ‘diversity.’ We may hope that the Supreme Court declines to endorse Harvard’s specious arguments.”

In response, SFFA filed a brief on May 24 arguing that Harvard’s opposition to the court taking up “confirms that this case is worthy of the Court’s review.”

“There thus should be no doubt about whether this is an appropriate case for review. If there were any, the avalanche of amici supporting SFFA, including roughly 350 different Asian-American organizations, would eliminate it,” the brief states. “Harvard retreats to a defense on the merits at the certiorari stage because it has no viable alternative.”

SFFA argues that Harvard’s admission standards makes race “‘determinative’ for hundreds of African-American and Hispanic applicants every year.”

Campus Reform reached out to Harvard University and Students for Fair Admissions for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft