DOJ Launches Probe Into Harvard's Affirmative Action Admissions

Tyler Durden's picture

The Department of Justice is taking its first tentative steps toward dismantling the 40-year-old system of affirmative action that governs admissions at US colleges and universities by opening an investigation into the admissions practices of America’s oldest and most venerated institution of higher education: Harvard.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the DOJ’s investigation into the use of race in its admissions process was inspired by a federal civil lawsuit filed in 2014 that alleged the university discriminates against Asian-Americans. The Department of Education dismissed the group’s allegations back in 2015. The lawsuit was brought by Edward Blum, a conservative lawyer who has focused on eliminating affirmative action. Blum, who successfully sheparded a case alleging the University of Texas discriminated against a white student all the way to the Supreme Court last year, laid out his arguments in a Washington Post op-ed published back in August, where he pointed out that the DOJ was already investigating incidences of discrimination against Asian Americans.

It is unfortunate that the Supreme Court has allowed universities to grant preferences to applicants based on race and ethnicity. Last year in Fisher v. University of Texas — in which Students for Fair Admissions provided counsel to the plaintiff — the Supreme Court allowed the University of Texas at Austin to continue the practice. Nonetheless, in Fisher and earlier cases, the court has been clear about the how these racial preferences must be implemented: Purposeful quotas and racial balancing are strictly prohibited. And, of course, diversity can never be a justification for invidious discrimination.


Proving that Harvard discriminates against Asian Americans is a complex and laborious process that will ultimately play out in open court for all of America to see. But one fact is indisputable: From 1992 through 2013, the percentage of Asians admitted to Harvard each year has been remarkably stable. In 1992, 19 percent of admitted students were Asian, while in 2013, 18 percent were Asian. This is true even though the number of Asian applicants to elite schools have disproportionately risen in recent decades. Research also shows that Asian applicants make up a large percentage of the most qualified applicants.

The issue at the crux of the DOJ’s suit is that the composition of Asians in elite schools’ student bodies has remained, more or less, constant for the 30 years even as the number of Asian-American applicants has increased, which suggests that these schools are adhering to an illegal quota system.

As WSJ points out, Asian-American groups have been raising questions about the unfairness of university admissions policies since 1989. But last year’s 4-3 Supreme Court ruling in favor of the University of Texas left the door open to future legal challenges by saying universities should continue to review their affirmative-action policies to assess their positive and negative effects.

Furthermore, the DOJ is also alleging that Harvard has obstructed its investigation by failing to turn over certain documents requested by the DOJ’s civil rights division. Harvard’s chief attorney has challenged the authority of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division to investigate the school under Title VI. In response, the Justice Department said the investigation was properly delegated to that division.

The DOJ provided ample warnings and hints that it intended to investigate affirmative action practices, even posting a jobs listing in August seeking attorneys with experience in affirmative action cases.

Should Harvard lose this court battle, the school could lose its access to federal funds under Title VI of the Civil Rights act (luckily, the university still has a $40 billion endowment to fall back on). The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are members of Students for Fair Admissions, which includes a group of Asian American students who were denied entry to Harvard.

Of course, Harvard is hardly the only school in the Ivy League that has been investigated for its admissions practices pertaining to Asian applicants. Buzzfeed back in May published a trove of documents from Princeton’s admissions department. The files provided unprecedented insight into the role that race plays in admissions - a revelation that unsurprisingly angered Asian-American student groups. In the files, admissions officers rejected Asian candidates with strong test scores and grades because they had “similar profiles” to other applicants, and referred to some candidates as "standard pre-med".

Given that revelation, we imagine the DOJ will soon move on to target other elite schools as it seeks to fundamentally change the federal guidelines surrounding college admissions. Widespread cried of racism by admissions committees will hardly be far behind...

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
MAGA's picture

Why ASIAN came to the US? That’s one premium have to pay.

nmewn's picture

#OnlyBlackLivesMatter is gonna call this "targeting" just wait and see  ;-)

whackedinflorida's picture

Asians vote overwhelmingly democratic, in favor of the "diversity" agenda.  What did they expect?

Hopeless for Change's picture

What about discrimination against whites?  Oh, right... that's ok.

Dindu Nuffins's picture

It gets even worse when you realise that huge numbers of hand-rubbers are disguised as "white" in the statistics, hiding that they are 4 times more likely to be admitted to the Ivy League than their raw test scores would indicate, and 12 times more likely than their actual demographics. By passing for white to hide this imbalance, they crowd out the real whites, so that only one-third of white high-achievers get into the Ivy League despite comparable scores. 

They don't even get called on this, because they are considered "white" for college admissions, just like Hispanics are considered "white" for crime rates, and just like Hispanic jews are considered "white" in all cases where they defend themselves against angry dindus.

ne-tiger's picture

True. If they want to insist, they should put "J" there too.

Why not just make sure there's no "Race" in college application? So fucking hard?

Manthong's picture


..that f’ng liberal hole-house  has something like $30 Billion in the “Endowment’….

…any idiot could get a degree there ……. like Obama

God Emperor's picture

Problem is Obama was just loitering around campus pushing dope. That's why no one remembers him from class.

His Harvard diploma is as shady as his birth certificate.


overbet's picture

This is about discimination against whites too. Why do they have to be pussys though and use Asians to soften the blow? Shows were still in bad shape when they cant publicly state the obvious that whites are the most discriminated against race in this country. 

techpriest's picture

I was talking with my father-in-law (Chinese) about this, and he was kinda baffled about it as well "We Chinese are very conservative compared to most Americans, why are most voting Democrat?"

My guess is, there is a little bit of a collective mindset which assumes that government = society, and further that the next step is not to move toward liberty, so much as get more representation. While Asians, from my experience, would be more opposed to the SJW agenda, they still cling to prestige worship, which IMO is the cause of so many problems in government. Namely, the "I have a degree from a good school, I know better than you" mindset.

land_of_the_few's picture

Presumably this is discrimination against intelligent SE Asians, not H1-b types?

Moving and Grooving's picture

'"I have a degree from a good school, I know better than you" mindset'


Shit, I got family that do that, and they're retired. I hate it and really dislike even talking to them because of it, but they don't see a problem with their condescension, so there it is.



New_Meat's picture

Then we can hope that the DoJ hits the "X" ring.

Larry Dallas's picture

I’ve been waiting for this!

Get the popcorn!

Always knew Anita Hill was too dumb for Yale...

Ajax-1's picture

First of all, I thought Affirmative Action was declared discriminatory and illegal 30 years ago. Am I mistaken? My second point is since Harvard is a private institution of lower learning, why aren't they free to admit whoever they want?

all-priced-in's picture

You may be thinking quotas?





Jack McGriff's picture

Short answer:  Harvard is the recipient of massive federal grants and only stays in business because of massive federal student aid.  Money from the government always comes with strings attached, and the requirement to follow federal law.  At least in theory.

RedBaron616's picture

First of all, because federal money is involved in student loans, etc. that gives the federal government the right to pretty much own you. It is why Hillsdale College in Michigan takes no one with federal anything, providing their own. They never discriminated against anyone, even in the days when that was fashionable. When the Feds showed up and said, Show us your numbers, Hillsdale said, we don't count the numbers and never have. This was backed by the fact that blacks and women went to Hillsdale from early on. Nonetheless, the Feds wanted the numbers, so Hillsdale decided to go it alone. As far as I am aware, they are the ONLY college that is involved with no federal funding at all, students or otherwise.

I do agree with your premise, but it is also the premise that the bakers that were forced to bake a cake for a "marriage" they disagreed with. Again, private business, and should be allowed to do as they pleased.

The government, in the name of "fairness" and "equal" has squashed Liberty and Freedom.

RedBaron616's picture

Nobody cared before during Democratic AND Republican Administrations. Nobody is going to take money away from the liberal crybabies, not even Trump's DoJ. That's just the writer's statement saying what CAN happen, not what is LIKELY to happen.

Cloud9.5's picture

My son tells an interesting story about an experiment the partners ran a few years back.  The theory was that if they included a group of Ivy League certificates in their wall of high flyers, it would enhance the firm’s clout in attracting high end clients.  They hired their first candidate and studied how he meshed with their top echelon attorneys.  What they found was that their Ivy League hire was a gifted social justice warrior.  He was an authority on discrimination issues and women’s rights.  He considered himself well above the attorneys from low end schools like Mississippi College and refused to work with them.  The only problem was that it was the Mississippi College boys that were ones winning the million dollar cases.  His arrogance pissed off the winning team and even more importantly, it pissed of some old clients.  They let him go and did not repeat the mistake.

ne-tiger's picture

Fucktard, they are living here. 

This is one thing Trump's doing it right.

land_of_the_few's picture

Not sure I care either way, but it would be better if better students got in presumably. Would be bad if they had a huge bribery problem for letting in dim rich kids... that could never happen, right? :P

junction's picture

50 years ago, Harvard and other Ivy League schools capped admissions of Jewish applicants to about 4%, claiming that was fair since Jewish people were about 4% of the U.S. population.  That quota system never really changed, although later schools like Harvard stated that they were looking for geographic diversity. In other words, Jewish student applicants from places like New York City became second class applicants because of where they lived.  Columbia University and other schools still practice geographic diversity, AFAIK.  For a real example of diversity, check out the interns and residents at hospitals in New York City, where the search for diversity comes out far ahead of competence. 

Lanka's picture

Colombia University had a thing for Kenyans.

MisterMousePotato's picture

"50 years ago, Harvard and other Ivy League schools capped admissions of Jewish applicants to about 4%, claiming that was fair since Jewish people were about 4% of the U.S. population.  That quota system never really changed, although later schools like Harvard stated that they were looking for geographic diversity. In other words, Jewish student applicants from places like New York City became second class applicants because of where they lived."

This is utterly false.

Jews make up 25% of Harvard admissions. 27% at Yale.

Whites make up 20% of Harvard admissions.

Despite this disparity, whites make up 54% of Phi Beta Kappa recipients at Harvard and Jews only 11%. In other words, Jews are not admitted on merit, which is also apparent from raw admissions numbers.

Jews have, in fact, taken over academia and systematically discriminated against non Jews, especially whites.

junction's picture

Lanka, I am talking about 50 years ago, when there were quota systems in place.  Where did you get your numbers from? There probably are a lot more legacy admissions of Jewish candidates now at Harvard, since Harvard gives weight to being the offspring of a person who graduated from Harvard or currently teaches at the university.  With no consideration in this case of whether your parent is Jewish.

land_of_the_few's picture

High-roasted Kenyan Arabica :)

Snípéir_Ag_Obair's picture

The DOJ suit and media coverage goes to Asians, which is fair, 'diversity' has screwed them.

But European Americans have been screwed the most. By design.

'Whites' includes Jews for 'diversity' purposes, but much depends on not looking into the fact Jews are over-represented by 12/15 times, which is certainly much beyond merit.

Consequently, NON-JEWISH WHITES ARE UNDER-REPRESENTED. Along with Asians, less qualified blacks and latinos (and jews) are taking their seats.

Aff Action has allowed Jews, and ONLY jews to be massively over-represented at top schools... basically giving seats to less qualified minorities while keeping out Europeans and Asians who would do better than them particularly in math/science.

Snípéir_Ag_Obair's picture

The same trick is used when, rarely, ethnic/racisl power in Hollywood is broached.

So the NY Times can have an article lamenting that 19 of the 20 most powerful figures in Hollywood are 'white'...

But leave out that 15 are Jews.

Jews are <3% of the population;
Non-Jewish European-Americans are 60% of the population

So Jews are MASSIVELY over-represented, but Euro-Americans massively under-represented.

Note: while this game is played, it is 'social justice' to bitch about 'whites' being slightly over-repped in some context, but HATE SPEECH to ever note massive Jewish (and only Jewish) over-representation in news media, entertainment media, think tanks, top schools, etc etc etc.


junction's picture

Most of those Jewish people you refer to are figure heads, well-paid guys controlled by bankers in the background.  Of course, the biggest banking family of all, the Rothschilds, was originally Jewish but now seem to have tilted to satanism. 

drendebe10's picture

Dismantle the progressive liberal democrap doj. Fukemall

smc1982's picture

'cause slavery

onewayticket2's picture

the pretzel logic Harvard will use to clear itself is going to be fascinating.


New_Meat's picture

"As the World's Most Perfect University, Harvard blah-blah-blah."

Garciathinksso's picture

everyone knows AA is racist except for far left Progressive communists

Laughing.Man's picture

"Should Harvard lose this court battle, the school could lose its access to federal funds under Title VI of the Civil Rights act..."

LOL  It's always about the money.  Why do they bother wasting their money going to such places?  In any case, is the DOJ planning on unsealing those sealed indictments?

ne-tiger's picture

Everything's about money is this country.

junction's picture

With its massive endowment, Harvard now is more a hedge fund that runs a university on the side.

techpriest's picture

Its about taking the money from your enemies and giving it to your friends. Also known as socialism, cronyism, and many other *isms.

E.F. Mutton's picture

But how can they turn out legions of screeching, entitled, Marxist Blacks without AA?

Next you'll be expecting them to read and shit.

milo_hoffman's picture

Until all polices based on race are not allowed to continue, the US will be a racist country.

Last of the Middle Class's picture

How in the hell are you going to get "the black vote for the next 50 years" without affirmative action at Harvard?  Duh.

NoWayJose's picture

Revenge of the white males! Put all these protections in now for 'minorities' - in 10 or 20 years white males will be a 'minority' and get to sue all these liberal bastions!

RafterManFMJ's picture

Good luck, fuck. Whitey ain’t gonna win no such lawsuits. I recall some white chick in Texas won a lawsuit over being discriminated against about getting into lawschool. She won. The judge awarded her one dollar.

Whitey will only win from the rooftops with a scoped rifle, if at all. It’s best if figure that out, and soon.

JoseyWalesTheOutlaw's picture

Obama will not be happy with Jeff....


I am hopeful The Don will not give the Ivy League one penny. Buckwheat gave them 40 billion in his 8 years.