CFER Foundation


Published May 10, 2022

CFER and the ACR Project Urge the U.S. Supreme Court to Overturn Grutter and Reverse Lower Courts’ Rulings in the Harvard and UNC Racial Discrimination Cases

Scotus should uphold the Rule of Law & Equal Protection




For Immediate Release

May 10, 2022

SAN DIEGO, CA -- May 10, 2022- On May 9, 2022, Californians for Equal Rights Foundation (CFER), represented by the American Civil Rights Project, filed an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court, supporting Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) in its challenge to the race-based admissions policies of Harvard and UNC. In the brief, CFER asks the Supreme Court to overrule* Grutter v. Bollinger *(2003)and rule that both schools' race-based policies constitute illegal racial discrimination banned by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

One of the many flaws in the Court's reasoning in Grutter v. Bollinger was its unwillingness to strictly scrutinize the University of Michigan Law School's race-preferential admissions policy.  Instead, it purported to "defer" to the law school---an admitted discriminator---about whether the need for discrimination was sufficiently compelling. "The well-established doctrine of strict scrutiny requires the Court to demand that discriminators demonstrate that they have a compelling need to discriminate. Deference to the discriminator makes no sense," said law professor Gail Heriot, the Executive Vice President of CFER. "If the Court was going to defer to anyone, it should have been the American people, who have made it clear over and over again that they do not support race-preferential admissions."  

Explained ACR Project Executive Director Dan Morenoff, "The public's stable consensus really should end any debate as to whether the interests served by race-based admissions policies are 'compelling.' When, for decade after decade, supermajorities of Americans (including majorities of those polled from all races, ethnicities, and parties) have consistently rejected race-based admissions in literally every credible poll taken since Grutter, up to and including the Pew Research Center last month, what's the counterargument? If Americans of all stripes keep rejecting race-based admissions, to whom are they supposed to be 'compelling?'"

CFER's brief further stresses that, like every credible poll taken over decades, Americans' voting on ballot initiatives has broken overwhelmingly against race-based admissions. Almost every statewide vote has rejected them, including (among others) Washingtonians defeat of Prop. 1000 in 2018 and Californians defeat of Prop. 16 in 2020.

Of the latter, Frank Xu, president of CFER commented: "In 2020, over 9.65 million Californian voters resoundingly rejected Proposition 16, enhancing a growing and steady national consensus against racial preferences in public policy-making." commented. "We hope that the Supreme Court will consider the strong evidence of racial balancing in both the UNC and Harvard cases and redress its past mistake in ruling in favor of race-based admissions in higher education."

The Supreme Court must overturn Grutter, uphold the Rule of Law, and end its experimental departure from equal protection.


Wenyuan Wu

(786) 393-8028

About Californians for Equal Rights Foundation (CFER):

We are 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 is dedicated to educating the public on this important constitutional principle of equal treatment.


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