CFER Welcomes the Important Decision by The U.S. Supreme Court to Consider the Harvard and University of North Carolina Cases and Settle Race Consciousness in College Admissions

For Immediate Release

January 24, 2022

SAN DIEGO, CA – January 24, 2021- Californians for Equal Rights Foundation (CFER) welcomes and applauds the timely decision by the United States Supreme Court to hear Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard and SFFA v. University of North Carolina, et al (UNC). It is a right step towards setting up actionable and realistic legal parameters sounding race-conscious admissions in American higher education.

Represented by the American Civil Rights Project, CFER filed an amicus brief in March 2021 in support of SFFA’s certiorari petition regarding the Harvard admissions case and another amicus brief in December 2021 in support of SFFA’s petition in the UNC case. Together, we called upon the higher court to correct lower courts’ rulings and revisit the legality and constitutionality of race-based admissions policies undertaken by Harvard and UNC.

“Title VI is actually very plain; it forbids federally funded universities like Harvard from discriminating on the basis of race,” said Professor Gail Heriot, CFER Executive Vice President and U.S. Civil Rights Commissioner. “I’m optimistic that the Supreme Court is finally gearing up to take that seriously.”

“In 2020, over 57.2% of Californian voters resoundingly rejected Proposition 16, enhancing a growing and steady national consensus against racial preferences in public policy-making,” commented Frank Xu, president of CFER. “We hope that the Supreme Court will consider strong evidence of racial balancing in both the UNC and Harvard cases and redress its past mistakes in ruling in favor of race-based admissions in higher education.”

In both briefs, we argue that America has settled a public consensus against racial preferences. This consensus, grounded in principles underlying Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, calls for the Supreme Court to reconsider its earlier decisions on race-preferential college admissions.

Additionally, we argue that neither Harvard nor UNC has exercised narrow tailoring, exhausted workable race-neutral alternatives, or proven without a doubt that its admissions practices suffice a compelling government interest for student-body diversity. In reality, neither the validity of undefined student-body diversity nor the necessity of racial balancing is self-evident or legally settled. Enhancing the case for a Supreme Court review of both cases is the undeniable fact that the public has consistently rejected racial preferences in admissions, which is evidenced by three decades of polling data and modern ballot initiative history in California and Washington.

CFER sincerely hopes that the Supreme Court will consider America’s long-standing and broad-based antipathy to race-based public programs in deciding on both the Harvard and UNC cases.

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Contact:

Wenyuan Wu

wenyuan.wu@cferfoundation.org

(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. www.Cferfoundation.org.  

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