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Federal judge orders trial on Harvard’s admissions practices to proceed

Sep 29, 2018 by

Edward Blum is the director of the Project on Fair Representation.

University and those suing it both lose bids for a legal victory without a trial.

A federal judge on Friday cleared the way for a full trial on a suit charging Harvard University with illegally discriminating against Asian American applicants. The trial, scheduled to start in October, is seen by many as a pivotal battle over the future of affirmative action in higher education.

Both Harvard and Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) asked Judge Allison D. Burroughs to rule in their favor without a trial. The judge’s decision appeared to scold both sides for failing to see that a standard criterion for a summary judgment — no material dispute over the facts — does not apply in this case.

The briefs on some issues are “essentially mirror images of one another. Each party relies on its own expert reports to show the presence or absence of a negative effect of being Asian American on the likelihood of admission, highlights the purported flaws of its opponent’s statistical analysis, and claims that there is substantial — or zero — documentary and testimonial evidence of discriminatory intent,” Judge Burroughs wrote.

Source: Federal judge orders trial on Harvard’s admissions practices to proceed

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