Harvard again rejects SFFA’s hollow argument; cites SFFA’s “Lack of evidence.”
Harvard College today restated its request for summary judgment and presented a strong and detailed rebuttal to the “invective, mischaracterizations, and in some cases outright misrepresentations” of a brief filed by Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA), with lawyers for the College noting that the group’s rhetoric “fails to compensate for the lack of evidence supporting SFFA’s claims.”
The brief filed today (8/27) in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts demonstrates that the admissions policies of Harvard College are completely consistent with the law, and designed to build the diverse community critical to the success of its students.
Harvard College’s latest brief is in support of its June filing asking the Court to grant Harvard’s motion for summary judgment.
Harvard College challenges SFFA on multiple fronts, beginning with the group’s lack of standing to bring this lawsuit and continuing through the series of unfounded arguments SFFA has put forward as part of its quest to remove race as one factor among many in college admissions.
SFFA exists solely to pursue legal challenges that seek to eliminate the consideration of race in college admissions. It is founded and directed by Edward Blum, who has long sought to undermine admissions policies encouraging diversity.
Key points from the brief filed by Harvard College include:
HARVARD CONSIDERS RACE IN A MANNER PERMITTED BY THE SUPREME COURT
The brief presents hard evidence that Harvard does not discriminate against Asian American applicants and does not engage in racial balancing. Rather, Harvard considers race in precisely the manner permitted by the Supreme Court. “Harvard is pursuing exactly the objective the Supreme Court has validated.” Harvard also explains that “no combination of race-neutral measures could advance Harvard’s interest in obtaining the educational benefits that flow from a student body that is diverse in many ways and excellent in many dimensions. Unable to mount a serious challenge to those judgments, SFFA resorts to collateral challenges, all of which are meritless.”
SFFA HAS FAILED TO PROVIDE DOCUMENTARY, TESTIMONIAL, OR STATISTICAL EVIDENCE OF INTENTIONAL DISCRIMINATION
Harvard’s brief explains: “There is no direct evidence in this case—either documentary or testimonial” that Harvard has “engaged in a systemic effort to limit the number of Asian Americans at Harvard. It is simply implausible that such a wide-ranging scheme could have existed without a single document or a single piece of testimony attesting to it.” Without documentary or testimonial evidence to support its claims, “SFFA must rest instead on the analysis submitted by its statistical expert, Dr. [Peter] Arcidiacono. But Dr. Arcidiacono’s analysis is far too unreliable to allow SFFA’s claim to proceed to trial.”
SFFA LACKS STANDING TO BRING THIS LAWSUIT
As Harvard explains, “SFFA is not a genuine membership organization that can sue on behalf of its members; rather, it is a litigation vehicle designed to advance the ideological objectives of its founder, Edward Blum.” Moreover, “none of SFFA’s ‘standing members’ would have standing themselves to bring this case.” The brief calls SFFA’s attempts “to circumvent these concerns” “wishful thinking.”