DOJ Weighs In On Discrimination Lawsuit Against Harvard

Aug 30, 2018

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is publicly supporting a group's ongoing lawsuit against Harvard University over what the plaintiff says are discriminatory admissions practices. The group was founded by a Maine resident, who welcomes the DOJ involvement.

Students for Fair Admissions asserts that Harvard intentionally uses an admissions processes that limits the number of Asian-American students in an attempt to achieve a specific racial balance on campus.

The group was founded by Edward Blum, a part-time resident of South Thomaston, who says he's “very gratified” at the department's decision to weigh in.

“The courts typically pay very close attention to DOJ's analysis,” Blum says. “They pay very close attention to their reading of the law and we think it's a very important development in this case.”

The DOJ filing asserts that Harvard University has not adequately explained how it uses race in its decision-making, nor is it making any effort to limit the use of race in its admissions.

Meanwhile, Harvard University has responded that it is "deeply disappointed" with the Justice Department brief. In a written statement, the university says that the DOJ is “recycling the same misleading and hollow arguments that prove nothing more than the emptiness of the case against Harvard.” The school argues that 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 case goes to trial October in federal court in Boston.