Harvard, NYU law reviews sued over racial quotas

Live by diversity.  Die by diversity. 

The Harvard and New York University law reviews are being sued for racial discrimination over their use of quotas.

Faculty, Alumni, and Students Opposing Racial Preferences (FASORP) has filed lawsuits for discriminating against certain races in the name of "diversity."

Political Wire:

Gail Heriot, a University of San Diego law professor and member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, reports that each of these law reviews sets quotas that violate federal law:

The NYU Law Review sets quotas.  Its web site declares that it "evaluates personal statements in light of various factors, including (but not limited to) race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, socio-economic background, ideological viewpoint, disability, and age."  It then goes on to state that "Exactly 12 students will be selected by the Diversity Committee" for membership."  Really?  Exactly 12?  (Emphasis original.)

The Harvard Law Review is only a bit subtler.  It sets aside exactly 18 seats for "holistic review," quickly adding the it is "strongly committed to a diverse and inclusive membership" and that "[a]pplicants who wish to make aspects of their identity available through the Law Review's holistic consideration process will have the opportunity to indicate their racial or ethnic identity, physical disability status, gender identity, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status."

Despite the carefully crafted language, it's pretty clear what Harvard means by "holistic" and what NYU is really saying about preferences.  Whatever their claims, the practical result is that applicants are chosen based on the color of their skin.

As Heriot notes, a 2003 Supreme Court decision (Grutter v. Bollinger) allowed colleges and universities to use racial preferences when considering applicants, but does not allow actual quotas or giving "points" for certain races.

FASORP insists what the law reviews are doing violates Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

Title VI states that "No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."

Grutter was a decision that is now seen in hindsight as opening the door for universities to use race as a primary consideration in judging an applicant.  All the decision says is necessary for a school to be in compliance with the law is that it use "other" criteria to judge an applicant.  Schools can say whatever they want as far as how they judge admissions, but if the practical effect is a quota, what remedy is there?

FASORP is challenging the policy on the basis of the reality of how it is implemented.  This should be a test case for schools across the nation that claim that their admissions policies are designed to promote "diversity" while they establish a quota system based on race.

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