The Department of Justice further legitimized the attack on affirmative action on Thursday.
Back in 2014, Students for Fair Admissions filed a lawsuit against Harvard University, claiming the institution unlawfully incorporated affirmative action in its admissions process by eliminating potential Asian American seats to make room for other racial groups, according to The Washington Post.
Now, the Justice Department has filed a legal brief in Boston court on Thursday and publicly sided with the plaintiff, accusing the Ivy League institution of implementing "racial balancing" in the admission process, per The Post.
"The record evidence demonstrates that Harvard's race-based admissions process significantly disadvantages Asian-American applicants compared to applicants of other racial groups -- including both white applicants and applicants from other racial minority groups," the court papers read via CNN.
Last year, the department launched a civil rights investigation regarding Harvard's admission numbers, finding 22.7 percent of students were Asian American, 15.5 percent were African American, 12.2 percent were Latino and 2 percent were Native American.
“No American should be denied admission to school because of their race,” noted Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a statement. “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.”
Harvard University released an official statement noting its concern as this could be the next move toward helping the Trump administration affirmative action regression, especially as the general matter moves toward being revisited by the Supreme Court.
“Harvard does not discriminate against applicants from any group, and will continue to vigorously defend the legal right of every college and university to consider race as one factor among many in college admissions, which the Supreme Court has consistently upheld for more than 40 years,” Harvard’s statement read.
“Colleges and universities must have the freedom and flexibility to create the diverse communities that are vital to the learning experience of every student,” the statement continued. “Harvard is proud to stand with the many organizations and individuals who are filing briefs in support of this position today.”
The case is expected to be tried in October.
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