Asian-American Discrimination Lawsuit Against Harvard Is Heading To Trial On October 15

Samantha Chang

A federal judge in Boston has cleared the way for a discrimination lawsuit against Harvard University to go to trial. The bench trial is scheduled to begin on October 15.

In their lawsuit, a group of Asian-American students claims Harvard discriminated against them in its admissions process through the use of racial quotas designed to artificially limit their representation in the student body.

U.S. District Judge Allison Burroughs rejected pretrial motions by both Harvard and the Students for Fair Admissions Inc. — the group representing the Asian-American plaintiffs — to rule in their favor, Voice of America reported.

"There are disputed material facts based on Harvard's fact witnesses, the statistical evidence, and the expert opinions presented by each side that cannot be resolved before trial," Judge Burroughs wrote in her opinion.

Harvard has admitted that it considers race in its admissions process as part of affirmative-action programs designed to promote certain minority groups, but denied that it discriminates against Asian applicants.

In court papers, the Department of Justice said the Asian students "presented compelling evidence that Harvard's use of race unlawfully discriminates against Asian-Americans."

Last week, the Trump administration launched an investigation into fellow Ivy League university Yale for employing similar affirmative-action programs that allegedly discriminate against Asians, as the Inquisitr previously reported.

The plaintiffs in the Harvard lawsuit claim the university — which is supposed to admit the best students based on standardized test scores, grades, and extracurricular activities — artificially restrict Asian representation while promoting the representation of other minorities, notably African-Americans and Hispanics.

In court papers, the Students for Fair Admissions Inc. (the group representing the Asian students) claimed "an Asian-American male applicant with a 25 percent chance of admission would have a 35 percent chance if he were white, 75 percent chance if he were Hispanic, and 95 percent chance if he were black."

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has issued a statement saying Harvard has a responsibility to be fair in its admissions process because it receives more than $550 million a year in federal funding.

"No American should be denied admission to school because of their race," Sessions said. "As a recipient of taxpayer dollars, Harvard has a responsibility to conduct its admissions policy without racial discrimination by using meaningful admissions criteria that meet lawful requirements."