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1142, 14 Jun 21

SCOTUS Signals Intent to Weigh in on Race Considerations in Higher Education

Racism, even if well intentioned, is still racism.

The Supreme Court on Monday called for President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice to weigh in on a pending case over affirmative action at Harvard University, signaling the court’s interest in a dispute that could scale back the widespread use of race in higher education admissions.


In an unsigned order, the justices requested a brief from acting Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar expressing “the views of the United States.” Such a move is often a prelude to the court ultimately deciding to hear a case, though not always.

Monday’s move also has the potential to delay the litigation, even if the court eventually votes to consider the case. If the court agrees to hear it in its term beginning in October, a decision would be likely by June 2022. If the court doesn’t hear the case until the term after that, the decision may not appear until the summer of 2023. It requires the votes of four justices to take up a case.


The dispute, known as Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard, No. 20-1199, was brought by a group led by the anti-affirmative action activist Edward Blum. Students for Fair Admissions said that Harvard’s limited consideration of the race of its applicants discriminates against Asian applicants in favor of white applicants. That runs afoul of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, they argue.


A federal appeals court rejected the group’s arguments in November, finding that its “limited use of race in its admissions process in order to achieve diversity” was consistent with Supreme Court precedents. In February, Students for Fair Admissions filed a petition with the Supreme Court asking the justices to hear its appeal of that decision.


1142, 14 June 2021

1 Comment

  1. Merlin

    This is the Court publicly asking the WH if they’re still in favor of soft racism being the official federal policy of the USA. It’s an unsigned and unnecessary solicitation without a response deadline. Of course the Biden WH is in favor of get-even racism in ALL its various forms, but I’ll be surprised if these Obama’s third termers are dumb enough to commit such an obvious unforced error here by showing their hand before the Court formally accepts such a case. Maybe John Roberts is developing senility issues of his own.

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