Harvard Admissions Unconstitutionally Color-Selective, Not Color-Blind

When will university admissions be constitutional and color-blind? Southeastern Legal Foundation, joined by Center for Equal Opportunity and Reason Foundation, filed an amicus brief supporting Students for Fair Admissions in their challenge against Harvard University’s admissions policy that unconstitutionally discriminates against Asian-Americans. 

For decades, SLF and its allies have argued before the U.S. Supreme Court that admissions policies that give blanket preferences (and penalties) based on race violate several important constitutional rights – and the Harvard case brings an important new set of facts to this decades-long debate.

As SLF explains in its brief, Harvard penalizes Asian-American applicants solely because they are Asian-Americans. At the same time, it gives preferences to African-American and Hispanic applicants. Harvard’s very own study looking at the prospect of Asian-American applicants proves as much.

Our nation’s colleges and universities should use a color-blind admissions process, but are lagging behind the constitutional curve established by the Supreme Court. Even if some schools continue to disagree, the Constitution still requires that the consideration of race be narrowly tailored to serve a compelling interest. Asserting an interest in diversity for diversity’s sake as Harvard does is insufficient.