US Appeals Court Saves The Day On Harvard’s Affirmative Action Policy

US Appeals Court Saves The Day On Harvard’s Affirmative Action Policy

I voted in 2020 because of one critical issue: I want to ensure that black kids in America would continue to attend top universities in the nation. The Trump administration had mounted ferocious attacks on one of the ways which enable black kids to get into Harvard, Yale, Princeton, etc, by fighting to dismantle affirmative action. Today, I am happy that the Appeals court has sided with Harvard: race could be considered during admission.

When people write that America does not need affirmative action in these top schools, they have been unable to explain why in some schools, most students who needed affirmative action to get in are not ALWAYS the least performing in classes. Yes, Obama needed one but he was never the bottom of his class. This does imply that the “stable state system” is not fair. So that perturbation of considering race becomes necessary since implicit privileged race had played a role in the stable state selection. The Appeal court ruling is correct.

A Boston-based US appeals court has rejected a challenge to Harvard’s affirmative action policy brought by a group representing Asian Americans who claimed the school discriminated against them as it favored Black and Hispanic applicants.

“Harvard has an ongoing obligation to engage in constant deliberation and continued reflection regarding its admissions policies,” Judge Sandra Lynch wrote for the appellate panel. The ruling said that the school’s “limited use of race” in its admissions policy to achieve diversity is consistent with court precedent.

“Harvard has shown that its holistic consideration of race is not impermissibly extensive,” the court said.

Edward Blum, president of Students for Fair Admissions, which began the lawsuit in November 2014, said the decision would be appealed. Blum has long opposed racial policies that have primarily benefited Blacks and Hispanics. He lost a case against the University of Texas at the high court in 2016.

[…] The sweeping decision by the 1st Circuit US Court of Appeals was also a sharp rebuke to the Trump administration whose Justice Department joined the case, siding with Blum’s Students for Fair Admissions group. […]

For its new class of 2024, Harvard said, Asian Americans make up 24.6% of the class; African Americans 13.9%; Latinx 11.8%; and Native Americans and Native Hawaiians, 2.0%. The remaining category, 47.7%, is overwhelmingly White students.

The argument has been: allow written tests to be the exclusive parameters to admit these students. My point remains: when hiring workers in your company, do you just employ the top performing applicants in written tests? Yes, you still look for other means to evaluate the candidates. The same thing is happening when universities look at students’ backgrounds and “race” when making decisions. 

A poor latino girl, raised by a single mother, who scored 360 could be a better student than a son of medical doctors who scored 361. If someone extrapolates that the girl could be a better achiever, looking at what she has accomplished, despite her background, should not be seen as discriminating. That blacks and Latinos need this support must be classified as being unfair to the boy who scored 361.

Possibly by 2050, America will overgrow it when men and women will not see any race as being superior, and with that bias chose them over minorities. But today, a fudge factor is needed to balance the equation, and affirmative action is it.

Update: Big Tech sides with Harvard on race

Some of the biggest names in tech came out in support of Harvard’s affirmative action admissions policies in its fight against a federal lawsuit. Apple, Microsoft (LinkedIn’s parent) and Twitter were among those signing a friend-of-the-court brief this spring that sided with the university against the U.S. Justice Department. The companies cited their need for workers who are diverse and thrive in an “inclusive environment,” and for colleges and universities to provide these workers — especially as K-12 schools in the U.S. have become more homogenous. The U.S. Court of Appeals in Boston upheld the ruling Thursday that Harvard has the right to consider race in selecting a student body — setting the case up for a possible Supreme Court review.

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