Virginia’s lieutenant governor has joined a brief of amici curiae in support of Students for Fair Admissions, Inc., v. President & Fellows of Harvard College and Students for Fair Admissions, Inc., v. University of North Carolina, et al, two high-profile cases involving alleged discrimination in the colleges’ admissions processes.
“It is time to end the policies of college selection based on race, which is counter to equal treatment under the law. University-sponsored and supported charter schools, the expansion of scholarships for low-income students, and improved student testing methods will help provide increased diversity at universities,” Lt. Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears (R) said in a statement. “The right to a good education doesn’t come at the expense of denying another the right as well. We learn from history that we don’t learn from history. We are not about to deny educational rights to Asian children. Rather, we must ensure that all children have access to educational opportunities.”
A brief of amici curiae means that Earle-Sears and the state of Virginia will not be party to the lawsuit, but will be available to offer legal advice and opinions to the court.
The statement also said that North Carolina’s lieutenant governor, Republican Mark Robinson, also joined in the brief.
In what has become a longstanding battle that began in 2014, Harvard has been accused of purposefully limiting the number of Asian students it enrolls each year, despite the fact that those whom they reject are academically qualified.
The plaintiffs argue that the practice amounts to racial discrimination, which violates the Equal Protection Clause and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
In the latest action in the case, an appellate court ruled in favor of Harvard in 2020, saying that Harvard considered race-neutral alternatives to their existing practice.
“While we are disappointed with the opinion of the First Circuit Court of Appeals, our hope is not lost,” said Edward Blum, founder of Students for Fair Admissions, at the time. “This lawsuit is now on track to go up to the U.S. Supreme Court, where we will ask the justices to end these unfair and unconstitutional race-based admissions policies at Harvard and all colleges and universities.”
Blum was right.
In January, the Supreme Court decided that it will in fact hear the case involving the Ivy League school. The timetable for that hearing remains unclear.
The case numbers are Nos. 20-1199 and 20-707.
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Pete D’Abrosca is a reporter at The Virginia Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].