The Department of Justice is now investigating Harvard's use of race in admissions; specifically, whether the school is holding Asian-American students to a higher standard.
Mr. Arcidiacono found that an otherwise identical applicant bearing an Asian-American male identity with a 25 percent chance of admission would have a 32 percent chance of admission if he were white, a 77 percent chance of admission if he were Hispanic, and a 95 percent chance of admission if he were black. In a statement, the school called the lawsuit an attack on its ability to consider race in admissions, which it says is necessary to assemble a diverse mix of students.
The ruling bitterly disappointed conservatives who thought that Kennedy would be part of a Supreme Court majority to outlaw affirmative action in education. However, the action does suggest that the federal government will be more willing to investigate complaints by applicants that they were denied entrance to a particular college due to their race, experts said.
"We're now looking at a post-Kennedy Supreme Court".
Outside parties will be filing briefs in the Harvard case in the coming weeks.
It's possible that a case filed by Asian-American students against Harvard University could make it to the Supreme Court, giving a Trump-appointed justice the opportunity to overturn the precedent.
Edward Blum, a legal strategist who founded Students for Fair Admissions, issued a statement saying his group's filing "exposes the startling magnitude of Harvard's discrimination".
Harvard denies any discrimination and has argued that its admissions rate for Asian-Americans has grown by 29 percent in the past decade.
The policy represents the official view of the federal government and schools that do not follow it could face action from the Justice Department or lose federal funding, it said. They tell universities and colleges that it is acceptable to use race as a tool to achieve diversity. It went on to assert that schools have flexibility "to take proactive steps, in a manner consistent with principles articulated in Supreme Court opinions, to meet this compelling interest". "The federal government should not threaten colleges and universities in their efforts to construct inclusive campuses".
President Donald Trump's administration is planning to undo policies that would encourage race as a factor in college admissions, according to news reports. It comes as the Trump administration continues its crackdown on immigration, including asylum seekers.
"By encouraging schools to not consider race during the admissions process or potentially in any other circumstance, President Trump is undermining the benefits of diversity in schools and accelerating the socio-economic divide", NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson said in a statement. Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsUsing military attorneys to prosecute border crossers is a bad look for the White House Lawmakers press Trump admin for list of migrant kids separated from families Vermont becomes ninth state to legalize recreational pot MORE said the rescissions were necessary because the guidelines "were issued improperly or that were simply inconsistent with current law".