An organization that opposes racial preferences has filed lawsuits against the Harvard Law Review and the New York University Law Review over racial discrimination involving quotas.
Faculty, Alumni, and Students Opposing Racial Preferences (FASORP) has filed Title VI and Title IX lawsuits against the two law reviews for discriminating against certain races in the name of diversity.
Gail Heriot, a University of San Diego law professor and member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, reports that each of these law reviews sets quotas that violate federal law:
The NYU Law Review sets quotas. Its web site declares that it "evaluates personal statements in light of various factors, including (but not limited to) race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, socio-economic background, ideological viewpoint, disability, and age." It then goes on to state that "Exactly 12 students will be selected by the Diversity Committee" for membership." Really? Exactly 12? (Emphasis original.)
The Harvard Law Review is only a bit subtler. It sets aside exactly 18 seats for "holistic review," quickly adding the it is "strongly committed to a diverse and inclusive membership" and that "[a]pplicants who wish to make aspects of their identity available through the Law Review's holistic consideration process will have the opportunity to indicate their racial or ethnic identity, physical disability status, gender identity, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status."
As Heriot notes, a 2003 Supreme Court decision (Grutter v. Bollinger) allowed colleges and universities to use racial preferences when considering applicants, but does not allow actual quotas or giving “points” for certain races.
FASORP insists what the law reviews are doing violates Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
Title VI states that “No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."
Title IX states that “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance." This statute has been used to justified turning colleges and universities into pseudo-courts to adjudicate sexual assault.
It’s easy to see how Harvard and NYU violate these statutes. Harvard is already facing another lawsuit over their affirmative-action policies, which discriminate against Asian students.
We still don’t know how the affirmative-action lawsuit will turn out for Harvard, but if the university loses, it could mean good news for FASORP’s lawsuit.