CFER Foundation Hosts a Timely Press Conference Following SFFA’s Supreme Court Cert Filing of Harvard Discrimination Case

Experts and Leaders Discuss Merits, Implications & Community Reception of the Case

For Immediate Release

February 26, 2021

SAN DIEGO, CA – February 26, 2021- Californians for Equal Rights Foundation (CFER Foundation) organized a virtual press conference on February 25, 2021, following the petition for certiorari filing by Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) to U.S. Supreme Court. The successful press event featured distinguished speakers including: Mr. Edward Blum (President of SFFA), Dr. Richard Sander (UCLA Professor of Law, Economist and advisor to CFER Foundation), Mr. Yukong Zhao (President of the Asian American Coalition for Education), Mr. Lee Cheng (Founder of the Asian American Legal Foundation), and Mr. Jason Xu (President of the Sillion Valley Chinese Association Foundation).

“We have asked the court to consider two questions. The first question is: ‘Should this court overrule Grutter v. Bollinger and hold that institutions of higher education cannot use race as a factor in admissions?’” said Mr. Edward Blum, “The second question is: ‘Is Harvard violating Title VI (of the Civil Rights Act of 1964) by penalizing Asian-American applicants, engaging in racial balancing, overemphasizing race, and rejecting workable race-neutral alternatives?’”

Dr. Richard Sander made a few remarks on why he thinks the Supreme Court’s consideration of the Harvard case is important. “What’s different about the Harvard case from other affirmative action cases is that there is a real focus by the plaintiffs trying to get into the facts.” Dr. Sander also examined statistical evidence from both SFFA’s expert analysis and Harvard’s internal report to demonstrate the existence of racial discrimination and racial balancing in Harvard’s admissions.

On behalf of over 290 Asian-American organizations nationwide, Mr. Yukong Zhao gave a speech in support of SFFA’s Supreme Court petition. “Race-based affirmative action is a bandage used to cover up politician’s failure to lift up K-12 education for too many African and Hispanic children,” argued Mr. Zhao, “The US Supreme Court should totally ban the racial discrimination in admission processes of American colleges and other educational institutions.”

Speaking of his organization’s journey of promoting equal education rights since 2014, Mr. Jason Xu commented: “Using skin color as a major factor in college admissions is against the law. That’s called race-based affirmative action and we are against that.”

“The current measures to restrict enrollment of Asian Americans in institutions of higher education and in other contexts increasingly like employment have significant historical precedents,” said Mr. Lee Cheng, “Asians have challenged these measures for over a century. We are hopeful that, with increasing awareness and support of all communities of good will, we will ultimately prevail both in courts and in society at large.”

CFER Foundation sincerely hopes that Supreme Court will consider the SFFA v. Harvard case and make a prudent decision to end race-preferential admissions at Harvard and other selective colleges, in light of overwhelming evidence and increasing public opinions opposed to racial preferences.

Background: Students for Fair Admissions’ lawsuit against Harvard on racial discrimination in its undergraduate admissions has been a multi-year endeavor, which started in Nov. 2014. SFFA alleges that Harvard’s admissions policies discriminate against Asian Americans. The case was first heard in the Federal District Court in Boston between Oct and Nov 2018. After losing at the trial court in October 2019, SFFA appealed the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, which affirmed the lower court’s ruling on November 12, 2020. On the morning of February 25, 2021, SFFA filed a petition for Certiorari to US Supreme court to end race-preferential admissions at Harvard and other selective colleges.


Wenyuan Wu

(786) 393-8028

About Californians for Equal Rights Foundation (CFER Foundation): CFER Foundation is a non-partisan and non-profit organization established following the defeat of Proposition 16 in 2020, with a mission to defend and raise public awareness on the cause of equal rights through public education, civic engagement and community outreach. In 1996, California became the first U.S. state to amend its constitution by passing Proposition 209 to ban racial discrimination and preferences. Prop 209 requires that “the state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.” CFER Foundation is dedicated to educating the public on this important constitutional principle of equal treatment.

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