In 2014, a group called Students for Fair Admissions filed a 120-page legal complaint against Harvard, alleging that Harvard systematically discriminates against Asian-Americans. On October 15, 2018, the trial began in a federal courthouse in Boston. If the plaintiffs win, the case could have far-reaching consequences for society and for American politics.

To help us get smarter about the issues at play in this case, we’re joined by John Yoo, Director of the Public Law & Policy Program at the University of California Law School. John graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College in 1989, and Yale Law School in 1992, so he’s no stranger to the admissions practices of elite universities. And, as he discusses in the podcast, he’s personal friends with the lawyers who filed the complaint.

We discuss the Supreme Court’s inconsistent treatment of affirmative action cases; the merits of the Harvard case; the relationship of Asians to Democrats and Republicans; and the likelihood that the new conservative majority on the Supreme Court takes up this case in the 2020-2021 time frame.

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There are 2 comments.

  1. Member

    John Yoo is one of my favorite commentators on the law. He is always lively and interesting to listen to. This particular case is of particular interst since I detest Affirmative Action and have always believed that it is essentially unfair to to benefit anyone on the basis of race. Individuals should be seen as individual and judged as such. As a white male I am not an avatar for all white males. I am an individual with assets and deficits which have nothing to do with the color of my skin or my gender. When I applied for positions during my working life my gender and color had a lot more to do with my not being hired for a position than any lack in my qualification. This is intrinsically unfair and unAmerican.

    • #1
    • October 18, 2018 at 2:24 pm
    • 3 likes
  2. Coolidge

     An article on the subject in the latest New Yorker gives us an interesting picture of how liberal and progressive beliefs are maintained. 

    The author doesn’t lie. He merely leaves out all the statistical data on SAT scores of various groups and their acceptance rates, which are the meat of the plaintiffs’ case. 

    Thus, the case becomes nothing more than assertions and counter-assertions; and, of course, the pro-affirmative action side gets most of the better lines.

    • #2
    • October 19, 2018 at 3:57 pm
    • Like