Affirmative action opponents ask U.S. Supreme Court to take UNC, Harvard cases together

BOSTON, Nov 11 (Reuters) – Opponents of policies used to increase the number of black and Hispanic students on US college campuses on Thursday asked the US Supreme Court to hear two cases together that accuse the University of Harvard and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. discrimination.

Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA), a group founded by anti-affirmative action activist Edward Blum, in a petition asked the court to expedite the UNC case and take it along with a challenge to Harvard’s admissions policies.

“If the Supreme Court decides, as it should, to reconsider racial preferences in college admissions, it should consider that issue in the context of a private school and a public school,” Blum said in a statement.

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Harvard declined to comment. UNC did not respond to requests for comment. Both consider their admissions practices legal.

The SFFA was already challenging an appeals court’s rejection of its claims that Harvard policies discriminate against Asian Americans, giving the 6-3 conservative majority of the US Supreme Court a chance to end. to affirmative action on campuses. read more

But last month, a judge rejected SFFA’s allegations in a case filed in 2014 that said the UNC’s consideration of race in its undergraduate admissions process discriminated against white and Asian-American applicants. read more

SFFA said judges should take the UNC case to Harvard’s without going to an appeals court.

In June, the court asked the administration of US President Joe Biden to assess whether it should hear the Harvard case. He hasn’t done it yet.

SFFA said the United States Supreme Court nearly two decades ago did something similar when it took two affirmative action cases involving the University of Michigan and bypassed an appeals court with one of them.

The judges finally in 2003 preserved affirmative action on campuses in a ruling that the SFFA wants to overturn.

Harvard argues that Title VI of the Civil Rights Act prohibits recipients of federal funds from using race in admissions. The UNC case holds that, for public schools, the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution requires the same conclusion.

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Report from Nate Raymond in Boston; edit by Grant McCool

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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