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Appeals Court Clears Harvard Of Racial Bias In Admissions

A man walks past the front entrance of the Widener Library in Harvard Yard. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
A man walks past the front entrance of the Widener Library in Harvard Yard. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

A federal appeals in court upheld a district court decision clearing Harvard University of intentional discrimination against Asian American applicants.

A two-judge panel of the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston rejected claims from an anti-affirmative action group that accuses the Ivy League university of imposing a “racial penalty” on Asian Americans.

The decision delivers a blow to the group, Students for Fair Admissions, and moves the case a step closer to a possible review by the Supreme Court.

The group’s 2014 lawsuit alleges that Harvard’s admissions officers use a subjective “personal rating” to discriminate against Asian Americans who apply to the school. Harvard denies any discrimination.

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