“But these elite universities do not want to sacrifice their elite status”

Josh Blackman:

As a result, if Yale wants to keep its racial diversity numbers high, the overall LSAT and GPA scores would have to drop. And that decrease would affect the law school’s rankings.

Justice Thomas aptly described the dilemma facing Yale in Grutter.

One must also consider the Law School’s refusal to entertain changes to its current admissions system that might produce the same educational benefits. The Law School adamantly disclaims any race-neutral alternative that would reduce “academic selectivity,” which would in turn “require the Law School to become a very different institution, and to sacrifice a core part of its educational mission.” Brief for Respondent Bollinger et al. 33–36. In other words, the Law School seeks to improve marginally the education it offers *356 without sacrificing too much of its exclusivity and elite status. [FN4]

[FN 4]: The Law School believes both that the educational benefits of a racially engineered student body are large and that adjusting its overall admissions standards to achieve the same racial mix would require it to sacrifice its elite status. If the Law School is correct that the educational benefits of “diversity” are so great, then achieving them by altering admissions standards should not compromise its elite status. The Law School’s reluctance to do this suggests that the educational benefits it alleges are not significant or do not exist at all.

The proffered interest that the majority vindicates today, then, is not simply “diversity.” Instead the Court upholds the use of racial discrimination as a tool to advance the Law School’s interest in offering a marginally superior education while maintaining an elite institution. Unless each constituent part of this state interest is of pressing public necessity, the Law School’s use of race is unconstitutional.

Yale can can maintain its racial diversity by sacrificing its elite status. But these elite universities do not want to sacrifice their elite status. Cam Norris made this point during arguments in SFFA: