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Activists Sue Harvard and UNC for Discriminating Against Asian Applicants

Activists Sue Harvard and UNC for Discriminating Against Asian Applicants
Photograph by Songquan Deng/Getty Images

A nonprofit advocacy group is suing administrators at Harvard and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill over allegations that the schools illegally limited admissions for qualified Asian American applicants.

The lawsuits were filed today in federal courts in Boston and Greensboro, N.C., by Students for Fair Admissions, a group led by Edward Blum, a retired stockbroker and crusader against the use of race in admissions policies (he was the driving force behind the U.S. Supreme Court case Fisher v. University of Texas, in which a white woman argued she was denied admission based on her race). The group argues that by factoring race into admissions, the two schools’ admissions policies unfairly pit Asian applicants against each other. The organization compares Harvard’s use of race in admissions with quota systems that universities used to justify limiting admissions to Jewish students in the 1920s, my colleague Christie Smythe at Bloomberg News reports.