DOJ Launches Probe Into Harvard's Affirmative Action Admissions

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...


Dindu Nuffins Hopeless for Change Tue, 11/21/2017 - 09:16 Permalink

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.

In reply to by Hopeless for Change

Manthong ne-tiger Tue, 11/21/2017 - 09:39 Permalink

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  ..that f’ng liberal hole-house  has something like $30 Billion in the “Endowment’…. …any idiot could get a degree there ……. like Obama

In reply to by ne-tiger

techpriest whackedinflorida Tue, 11/21/2017 - 08:59 Permalink

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.

In reply to by whackedinflorida

RedBaron616 Ajax-1 Tue, 11/21/2017 - 09:29 Permalink

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.

In reply to by Ajax-1

Cloud9.5 TeamDepends Tue, 11/21/2017 - 10:21 Permalink

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.

In reply to by TeamDepends

junction MAGA Tue, 11/21/2017 - 08:30 Permalink

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. 

In reply to by MAGA

MisterMousePotato Lanka Tue, 11/21/2017 - 09:27 Permalink

"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.

In reply to by Lanka

junction MisterMousePotato Tue, 11/21/2017 - 12:38 Permalink

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.…

In reply to by MisterMousePotato

Snípéir_Ag_Obair MAGA Tue, 11/21/2017 - 08:31 Permalink

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.

In reply to by MAGA

Snípéir_Ag_Obair Snípéir_Ag_Obair Tue, 11/21/2017 - 08:43 Permalink

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.


In reply to by Snípéir_Ag_Obair

Laughing.Man Tue, 11/21/2017 - 08:16 Permalink

"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?

NoWayJose Tue, 11/21/2017 - 08:20 Permalink

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 NoWayJose Tue, 11/21/2017 - 08:43 Permalink

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.

In reply to by NoWayJose