Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell on Harvard University Admissions Case Ruling
Published: October 01, 2019

​​"We are gratified that this decision unambiguously respects more than four decades of U.S. Supreme Court precedent. Finding that ‘Harvard’s interest in student body diversity is substantial and compelling,’ the court emphasized that the university has followed the high court’s standard that race and ethnicity can be considered within a narrowly tailored framework as one factor in a holistic admissions review. It was only about three years ago when the Supreme Court issued its latest ruling in the area of race-conscious admissions in Fisher II, which also underscored the autonomy U.S. colleges and universities have to define the intangible characteristics, like student body diversity, that are central to each institution's identity and educational mission.

Today’s ruling is especially gratifying because it occurs against a backdrop of continuing attacks on what remains the settled law of the land in this area. As the amicus brief filed by ACE and 36 other higher education groups opposing the challenge to the ‘Harvard model’ of holistic admissions review noted: ‘this lawsuit is nothing more than the first step in a backdoor attempt to achieve the sweeping relief sought—and denied—in Fisher II: the end of the consideration of race in college admissions and the restriction of a university’s ability to assemble a diverse student body.’

We applaud this ruling and are confident that the nation’s courts, including its highest court, will continue to uphold the vital principle that colleges and universities that choose to do so can consider race as one factor in reviewing applicants to achieve the goal of a talented, diverse incoming class.”

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