Amicus Brief

Students for Fair Admissions, Inc., Petitioner, v. President and Fellows of Harvard College, Respondent (U.S. Supreme Court, 2022)

Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College (U.S. Supreme Court, 2022)




This case involves a legal challenge to Harvard College’s race-conscious admissions policy, pursuant to which race is considered as one factor among many as part of a holistic evaluation of each individual applicant. Consistent with ADL’s prior positions on affirmative action, we filed a brief in support of Harvard in the Supreme Court following up on our brief filed previously with the First Circuit Court of Appeals.  Both briefs support the trial court’s ruling that Harvard’s policies do not impose quotas, assign people to categories based on their race, or use race as a determinative factor in making admissions decisions. ADL’s brief to the Supreme Court makes three points — first, that diversity in higher education is a compelling government interest; second, that race must never be used as a determinative factor; and third, that Harvard’s current admissions practices (which are intended to promote rather than inhibit diversity) are clearly distinguishable from Harvard’s admissions practices in the 1920s and 1930s, which were motivated by antisemitism, were explicitly designed to decrease Jewish enrollment, and imposed a quota on Jews.