Litigation on Race & Admissions

Jim Shelton:

Yale has joined a legal effort to uphold the longstanding ability of colleges and universities to consider race and ethnicity as elements in a holistic review of applicants in the college admissions process.

In an amicus curiae, or “friend of the court,” brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court on Aug. 1, Yale added its voice in two cases involving, respectively, Harvard and the University of North Carolina. The court is expected to hear arguments in the cases, Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College and Students for Fair Admissions, Inc., v. University of North Carolina et al, this fall.

Through those lawsuits, a group called Students for Fair Admissions seeks to eliminate consideration of race and ethnicity in college admissions. The universities’ amicus filing opposes the suits.

Yale joined more than a dozen other universities in filing the brief, including Columbia, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Princeton, and the University of Chicago.

“Today Yale joined peer institutions in stating emphatically that student diversity is essential to the missions of American universities and promotes educational excellence for all students,” President Peter Salovey said. “Our amicus curiae brief makes clear that the way we consider race and ethnicity as part of individualized applicant review is crucial to achieving a richly diverse academic environment that enhances students’ educational experiences and maximizes their future success. Yale stands firm in supporting universities’ established right to compose incoming classes that are diverse along many dimensions and in its commitment to enrolling students from all walks of life.”