University of North Carolina Beats Anti-Affirmative Action Suit
(Bloomberg) -- The anti-affirmative action activist who unsuccessfully fought Harvard University over its admission process failed to force the University of North Carolina to stop using race as a factor when deciding which applicants to admit.
A federal judge rejected the request of Edward Blum’s Students for Fair Admissions to invalidate UNC’s race-conscious admission program. Blum’s Asian-American student group lost its case against Harvard in 2019 and an appeals court upheld the Boston judge’s ruling last year. In February, the group petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case.
In a 161-page ruling Monday, U.S. District Judge Loretta Biggs said UNC “engages in a highly individualized, holistic admissions program that is narrowly tailored in that it considers race flexibly as only a ‘plus factor’ among many.” The university’s “recognition and pursuit of student body diversity and the educational goals that flow from it are not only constitutionally permissible, but welcomed,” she wrote, following an eight-day trial in November.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that colleges can tailor admissions to foster campus diversity if they use a “whole person review” that considers race along with various other qualities.
Blum said in a statement that he was disappointed by the ruling and would appeal.
“We believe that the documents, emails, data analysis and depositions SFFA presented at trial compellingly revealed UNC’s systematic discrimination against non-minority applicants,” he said.
The case is Students for Fair Admissions Inc. v. University of North Carolina, 14-cv-954, U.S. District Court of North Carolina, Middle District.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.