An appeals court has upheld a District Court ruling that Harvard University's admissions process did not violate civil rights law or discriminated against Asian American applicants. A report in The Harvard Crimson said judges for the First Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that the University's admissions processes did not violate civil rights law.
The ruling affirmed a holding by District Court Judge Allison Burroughs, who had also favoured Harvard's defence after a three-week-long trial in October 2018. The Crimson report said that First Circuit judges Jeffrey Howard and Sandra Lynch wrote in their opinion that Burroughs correctly decided several key components of the case, including that Harvard did not engage in racial balancing and that the University considered race-neutral alternatives. Harvard spokesperson Rachael Dane said that the University welcomed the ruling.
Today's decision once again finds that Harvard's admissions policies are consistent with Supreme Court precedent, and lawfully and appropriately pursue Harvard's efforts to create a diverse campus that promotes learning and encourages mutual respect and understanding in our community," she said, according to the Crimson report. "As we have said time and time again, now is not the time to turn back the clock on diversity and opportunity. Students for Fair Admissions had first sued Harvard in 2014 and its President Edward Blum said he was disappointed by the First Circuit ruling.
Our hope is not lost, Blum said in the written statement. This lawsuit is now on track to go up to the US 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.