Harvard Admissions Process Does Not Discriminate Against Asian-Americans, Judge Rules
By Anemona Hartocollis
New York Times
Oct. 1, 2019

A federal judge on Tuesday rejected claims that Harvard had intentionally discriminated against Asian-Americans applicants, in a closely watched case that had presented one of the biggest legal challenges to affirmative action in years.

The challenge came from a group hoping to overturn a longstanding Supreme Court precedent that allows race to be considered as one factor among many in the admissions process, but prohibits universities from using racial quotas. The group argued that Harvard’s practices had benefited black and Hispanic students at the expense of another minority group, in a strategic reversal of past affirmative action lawsuits in which the plaintiffs denounced a perceived unfairness to white students.

The judge, Allison Burroughs of Federal District Court for the District of Massachusetts, rejected the argument that Harvard was using affirmative action as a weapon against some races and a boon to others, and said that the university met the strict constitutional standard for considering race in its admissions process.

In her decision, Judge Burroughs defended the benefits of diversity, and said that while the time might come when it would be possible to look beyond race in college admissions, that time was not yet here.

“The rich diversity at Harvard and other colleges and universities and the benefits that flow from that diversity,” she added, “will foster the tolerance, acceptance and understanding that will ultimately make race conscious admissions obsolete.”