A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Harvard University does not discriminate against Asian Americans in undergraduate admissions, handing the school a victory in a lawsuit that marks one of the latest chapters in the affirmative action debate.
U.S. District Judge Allison D. Burroughs rejected a plaintiff’s claims that Harvard violates the law as it considers race in selecting an incoming freshman class. While Harvard’s “admissions process may be imperfect,” Burroughs wrote, the judge concluded that statistical disparities among racial groups of applicants “are not the result of any racial animus or conscious prejudice.”
The judge also found that Harvard “narrowly tailored” its use of race in admissions to achieve the benefits of a diverse class.
“The use of race benefits certain racial and ethnic groups that would otherwise be underrepresented at Harvard and is therefore neither an illegitimate use of race or reflective of racial prejudice,” Burroughs wrote.