Recently, the Project on Fair Representation (POFR) launched three websites: HARVARDnotFair.org; UNCnotFair.org; and UWnotFair.org. The sites target Harvard Univ., the Univ. of North Carolina-Chapel and the Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison, respectively.
The purpose of the websites is to educate the public about the unfair and unconstitutional admission policies of the three universities and seek out students who have been recently rejected from these schools to contact POFR. POFR is encouraging anyone with first-hand knowledge about the use of race in admissions policies and practices at these universities to come forward and speak up as well.
POFR is a legal defense foundation based in Alexandria, Virginia that has provide pro bono legal representation to individuals and jurisdictions in a number of important U.S. Supreme Court cases, including in Abigail Fisher v. Univ. of Texas-Austin (11-345) in 2013.
In the Fisher case, the justices vacated a lower court ruling (7-1, Justice Kagan recused) that upheld UT’s reintroduction of racial and ethnic classifications and preferences in its undergraduate admissions policies in 2005. The case is on remand to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
POFR believes that thousands of applicants to these universities have been unfairly and unconstitutionally denied admission because none are following the legal principles enshrined in the Fisher opinion and the Supreme Court’s decisions dating back to Brown v. Board of Education. Specifically, the Supreme Court wrote that colleges are bound to use “strict scrutiny” in the manner they give preferences to applicants by skin color and ethnic heritage.
Here is what the Court wrote:
“…strict scrutiny imposes on the university the ultimate burden of demonstrating, before turning to racial classifications, that available, workable race-neutral alternatives do not suffice.”
“It is at all times the University’s obligation to demonstrate, and the Judiciary’s obligation to determine, that admissions processes ensure that each applicant is evaluated as an individual and not in a way that makes an applicant’s race or ethnicity the defining feature of his or her application.”
POFR believes that Harvard University, specifically, is discriminating against Asian-American students by using a “quota” or “ceiling” to limit their admission to the university.
Edward Blum, POFR’s director, said, “We encourage any student who was rejected by one of these universities to visit the new websites to learn more about what can be done to end these practices. We encourage any person with first-hand knowledge about these universities’ use of race in admission practices and policies to come forward as well.”
Blum added, “The Supreme Court last year imposed incredibly high hurdles colleges must overcome when using racial and ethnic preferences in their admissions policies. We believe all of these schools are breaking the law. Since Brown v. Board of Education, moreover, it has been unconstitutional to discriminate against any group of applicants, especially those, like the Asian-American community, who have long been subject to invidious discrimination.“
Blum concluded, “It is not necessary to use racial classifications and preferences in order for these schools to have a diverse student body. To continue treat applicants differently because of their race and ethic heritage is wrong and must end.”