Scott has already written about the decision in Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard, which upholds excluding many Asian-American applicants to Harvard who, by all objective criteria should be admitted, on the theory that they fit the stereotype of being, in effect, too serious. Harvard doesn’t really think the Asian-American applicants are too serious. It just needs an excuse for keeping a lid on the number of Asian-Americans at Harvard so it can admit more African-American applicants with inferior qualifications.
All one really needs to know about the decision is that the judge who wrote it, Allison Burroughs, is an Obama judge. Given that reality, the plaintiffs never stood a chance.
Judge Burroughs did allow that Harvard’s practices could use improvements. She suggested bias training for admissions officers.
Harvard’s admissions officers aren’t biased against Asian-Americans. Rather, they are biased in favor of African-Americans. Ridding of them of that bias isn’t what Judge Burroughs has in mind. Indeed, she shares that bias, at least in her official capacity.
Bias training might be useful, though. It might enable Harvard to reject Asian-American applicants for racial reasons without expressing its disapproval of such applicants in stereotypical language. But why bother to cover things up when the judge has deemed Harvard’s admissions program not only lawful, but “very fine.”
This decision will almost certainly be appealed to the First Circuit Court of Appeals. Of its six non-senior judges, four were appointed by Democratic presidents, including three by Obama. Three of its four active senior judges were appointed by Republican presidents in the distant past. The court contains no judge nominated by President Trump.
The case may well be headed to the Supreme Court. There, the four Democratic nominees can be counted to uphold Harvard’s discrimination without compunction. Most of the Republican nominees will likely vote the other way, but unless all of them do, Harvard will be free to keep rejecting Asian applicants because of their race.