Support the news
Is Harvard University discriminating against Asian-American applicants? A case currently pending in Boston Federal court alleges that yes, the nation's oldest and most famous university has admissions policies that disadvantage highly qualified Asian-American students...and extend preferential treatment to other minorities.
But are the plaintiffs calling for slight modifications to Harvard's admissions process? No, there's a broader goal — ending race-based affirmative action overall.
And just who are these plaintiffs? The lawsuit wasn't launched by Asian Americans. In fact, not a single such student is explicitly named in the 120 page complaint. Instead, the plaintiff is a group called "Students for Fair Admissions" — a group created by conservative advocate Edward Blum.
Blum has a long history of challenging race-based policies. He was the force behind Fischer v. Texas, the 2013 affirmative action case that reached the US Supreme Court. Blum also developed the Supreme Court case that led to the narrowing of the Voting Rights Act.
In speaking about the current Harvard case, Edward Blum told Reuters, "I proudly stand by any group that has been denied a place at a university because of skin color."
Is it as simple as that? Or, could the quest for fairness for one minority group end up further harming other minority students? And is there a better way of leveling the admissions field, than race-based affirmative action?
This segment aired on June 18, 2015.