Letters

Letters

Justice Dept. has fight on its hands in challenging diversity at Harvard

If Jeff Sessions believes in so-called states’ rights, he can start by respecting states’ efforts to promote diversity in their own colleges. That’s what the Supreme Court did again last term for the University of Texas, but it’s the opposite of a Trump administration initiative to dismantle affirmative action. If the administration decides to put Harvard University in its crosshairs first, it will have a losing fight on its hands.

Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard, a suit prepared by the same group behind both unsuccessful challenges in Texas, alleges that Asian-Americans are being discriminated against in Harvard admissions. But research shows that any so-called Asian penalty is caused by white admissions advantage and not affirmative action.

Moreover, our clients, a multiracial group of current and prospective Harvard students, including Asian-Americans, who serve as amici in the case, value Harvard’s ability to ensure a diverse student body. They have no interest in serving as a wedge to promote a nativist agenda, and nor should the Justice Department.

Matt Cregor

Education Project director

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice

Boston

Nicole Gon Ochi

Supervising attorney

Impact Litigation

Asian Americans Advancing Justice

Los Angeles