Headlines blared that Harvard won the the case against SFFA (Students for Fair Admissions). The TRUTH is that SFFA won in substance. (I) Harvard changed its admissions standards just before the trial in order to win the legal battle -- changes that increased greatly the number of AsAms admits in 2019, and (II) Even then Harvard's legal victory is likely short-lived, possibly to be overturned if & when its appeal reaches the Supreme Court in 2 to 3 years.
[A] More AsAm Applicants Admitted at Harvard in 2019 Than Ever Before
(1) "an applicant's race or ethnicity should not be considered in assigning the personal rating," and
(2) A new guideline, applied to 2019 applicants, that stated: "It is important to
keep in mind that characteristics not always synonymous to extroversion are
similarly valued. Applicants who seem to be particularly reflective, insightful,
and/or dedicated should receive higher personal ratings as well."
Recall that AsAms were rated the lowest of all races in the "personality rating" and many AsAms are perceived to be more introverted. The changes raised the "personality" ratings for AsAms for the 2019 applicants.
Result? "More than a quarter of the students accepted identified as Asian this year,the highest number ever, up from twenty-three per cent in 2018 and twenty per cent in 2014, when the suit was filed." The quote is from an excellent 10/7/2019 New Yorker article by Prof. Jeannie Suk Gersen of Harvard Law School. Its title is "Many Sins of College Admissions". See the impact of this lawsuit?
[B] Harvard's Legal Victory May Most Likely Be Short Lived.
Harvard won and we lost. However, we've always expected to lose this round. We await our days in the next round.
On 10/02, EF sent a check of $10,000 to SFFA (Students for Fair Admissions) to keep up the good fight.
Ed Blum, who spent millions to finance the Boston District Court battle and will spend millions more, just sent out a press release stating "SFFA will appeal this decision to the First Court of Appeals and, if necessary, to the U.S Supreme Court. "
To Help Immigrants Make Sense of Legal Matters in the USA
Is the US a nation governed by laws? Yes, but written laws are interpreted by living individuals. In many District Court and Appeals Court cases, the outcome depends on who is judging. In Supreme Court cases, if liberal versus conservative politics is involved, the outcome depends heavily on whether the liberal or the conservative justices hold a majority of the 9 member court. Currently, the conservative judges have a majority. Hence if the Harvard case gets to the Supreme court in 2 to 3 years, many expect the AsAms to finally see justice!
The Current State of College Admissions - Shocking!
The title of a recent Wall Street Journal's editorial, Harvard's Legal Discrimination, succinctly reveals that discrimination against AsAm applicants to colleges is now legal. To me, Judge Allison Burroughs' decision of Oct. 1, 2019 could be the worst District Court decision in modern history, because she made discrimination legal.
How 3 Supreme Court Justices Viewed Discrimination Against AsAms
On June 23, 2016, Justice Samuel Alito, joined by Justice Clarence Thomas and Chief Justice John Roberts, issued a dissenting opinion after the Supreme Court decision on Fisher II. On pp 22 to 27, it was stated:
"... the court's willingness to allow this discrimination against
individuals of Asian descent is particularly troubling, in light of the
long history of discrimination against Asian Americans, especially in education ... In particular, the Fifth Circuit's willful blindness to
Asian-American students is absolutely shameless." (emphasis
Do you sense intense indignation expressed by the 3 justices on behalf of AsAms? The three conservative justices have since been joined by 2 more conservative justices, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. How the SFFA case will fare before the Supreme Court with 5 conservative justices may be anyone's guess. After all, the Supreme Court may not even take the case. However, those who are wise should take note.
Walking in Harvard President Bacow's Shoes
After this recent court victory, Pres. Bacow has a great chance to straighten out a historic mess for Harvard and the other Ivy League colleges. He may now have the political capital - a victory in hand while facing a likely utter final defeat in 2 to 3 years - to induce Harvard and its allies to thoroughly re-examine their admissions policy. A step they may want to tighten is the subjective personality rating of applicants, some sight unseen. Being objective is the only amicable and lasting way to correct the historic mistake. This is what being the president of Harvard is ALL ABOUT - to do the right thing which seems impossible at first.