Affirmative Action


A Harvard Without Affirmative Action?

Affirmative action has narrowly survived several Supreme Court scares before. But now, experts say the court — made up of six conservative and three liberal justices — is likely to overturn four decades of precedent allowing schools to consider race in their admissions processes. It remains less clear what might come next.


SFFA Asks Supreme Court to Overturn Precedents Upholding Affirmative Action in Filing for Harvard, UNC Cases

The anti-affirmative action group Students for Fair Admissions asked the United States Supreme Court to ban affirmative action in American higher education by overturning precedents that allow universities to consider race as a factor in admissions in a brief filed with the court Monday.


Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Sherri Charleston Defends Harvard’s Race-Conscious Admissions Policies

With the Supreme Court set to hear a high-stakes lawsuit challenging Harvard’s race-conscious admissions policies, Sherri A. Charleston, Harvard’s first Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, defended the University’s practices and commitment to diversity in an interview last Wednesday.


As Supreme Court Hearing Approaches, Harvard's Lead Lawyers Reflect on Time at the College

Over 50 years William F. Lee ’72 and Seth P. Waxman ’73, Harvard’s race-conscious admissions practices are in jeopardy as a lawsuit alleging discrimination against Asian-American applicants heads to the Supreme Court in the fall. The court agreed to hear the case filed against Harvard by anti-affirmative action group Students for Fair Admissions alongside a similar lawsuit against the University of North Carolina.


‘Hurt and Disappointed’: Student Leaders Decry Supreme Court’s Decision to Hear Affirmative Action Case

Student leaders of Harvard cultural groups expressed disappointment — and cautious optimism — following the Supreme Court’s decision Monday to hear a set of lawsuits challenging race-conscious admissions practices.


‘Bad News for Harvard’: Future of Affirmative Action in Doubt as Conservative Court Takes Up Admissions Cases

After the Supreme Court agreed Monday to take up a lawsuit against race-conscious admissions processes at Harvard and the University of North Carolina, legal experts say the case could spell the end of affirmative action in higher education.


Supreme Court to Take Up Challenges to Affirmative Action at Harvard, UNC

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to take up a pair of lawsuits challenging race-conscious admissions processes at Harvard and the University of North Carolina, setting the stage for a high-stakes decision that could determine the future of affirmative action in higher education.


SFFA Petitions Supreme Court to Hear Harvard and UNC Cases Together

Students for Fair Admissions, which is suing Harvard and UNC over their race-conscious admissions, asked the Supreme Court to hear both cases together.


‘Complete Switch in Position’: Legal Experts Say Biden Likely to Back Harvard in Race-Conscious Admissions Suit

Many education and legal experts expect President-elect Joe Biden's Justice Department will extend support to universities — including Harvard — currently embroiled in legal challenges from anti-affirmative action group Students for Fair Admissions.


Experts Envision Roads to Supreme Court for Harvard Admissions Lawsuit

With SFFA President Edward J. Blum pledging to further appeal the SFFA v. Harvard lawsuit, legal experts say they are confident SFFA will try to take the case to the Supreme Court. They also say that if that effort succeeds, the Court’s virtually unprecedented conservative makeup would prove a threat to race-conscious admissions and longstanding precedent in affirmative action.


Experts Say SCOTUS Nomination Threatens Harvard Admissions Lawsuit Ruling

President Donald J. Trump’s nomination of Judge Amy V. Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court Saturday may endanger Harvard’s chances of victory in the lawsuit against it by anti-affirmative action group Students for Fair Admissions, should the case proceed to the highest court in the land, higher education law experts say.


Harvard Files Reply Brief in Admissions Case Appeal

Harvard submitted a brief in a federal appeals court Thursday reiterating its arguments that Harvard College does not discriminate against Asian American applicants, marking the latest development in years of litigation over affirmative action in the College’s admissions process.


Following SFFA Attorney’s Comments at Event, Harvard Law Students Debate Discrimination Against Asian Americans

Students engaged in debate over comments about discrimination against Asian American students during a Harvard Law School event. At the event, some students laughed and shouted their agreement after lead Students for Fair Admissions lawyer Adam K. Mortara made a quip about personality ratings differences.


Federal Judge Rules Harvard's Admissions Policies Do Not Discriminate Against Asian American Applicants

The ruling brings an end to this stage of the lawsuit filed against the University by anti-affirmative action group Students for Fair Admissions in 2014. SFFA alleged that the College's admissions policies discriminate against Asian American applicants by holding them to higher standards.


Lawsuit Alleging Harvard Law Review Discriminates in Member Selection Process Dismissed

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit Thursday that was brought against the Harvard Law Review in October alleging the legal journal violates federal anti-discrimination laws in its member and article selection policies.


Affirmative Action Can Limit the Influence of Money in Higher Education, Harvard Ed School Dean Says

Graduate School of Education Dean Bridget Terry Long said in a Tuesday interview that while money and other advantages skew access to higher education in the United States, research conducted at the Ed school may help alleviate its effects.


Harvard Admissions Trial Ruling Will Determine Facts for Future Appeals, Experts Say

Attorneys for Harvard and anti-affirmative action group Students for Fair Admissions had their last chance to present arguments in their ongoing battle over whether the College’s admissions processes discriminates against Asian-American applicants last week.


In Post-Trial Brief, NAACP Legal Defense Fund Defends Harvard’s Admissions Policy

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Legal Defense and Educational Fund argued that Harvard’s race-conscious admissions process is “necessary to reap the educational benefits of diversity” in a document filed in federal court Wednesday.


Harvard Admissions Goes to Trial

The admissions lawsuit that could shape the future of affirmative action escalated in 2018 as Harvard and plaintiff Students for Fair Admissions sparred over allegations of anti-Asian-American bias in the College’s admissions process.


Harvard, SFFA Spar Over Key Takeaways from Admissions Trial

Harvard and Students For Fair Admissions continued to spar over whether the College’s admissions process discriminates against Asian-American applicants in court documents filed Wednesday.


Harvard, Law Review Look to Dismiss Anti-Affirmative Action Lawsuit Against the Publication

Lawyers for Harvard, Harvard Law School, and the Harvard Law Review filed motions Monday, asking the Court to dismiss a complaint brought by an anti-affirmative action group that alleges the Law Review’s editor selection process illegally uses “race and sex preferences.”


11-2 Trial

Harvard lawyers Seth P. Waxman '73 and William F. Lee '72 speak to reporters outside the courthouse on the trial's final day.


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