A federal judge upheld Harvard University’s undergraduate admissions process, rejecting claims that Harvard violates the law as it considers race of applicants. In August 2018, the ACLU filed an amicus brief, in which it argued that a whole-person, race-conscious admissions process furthers a university’s academic freedom to assemble a diverse student body.
Matthew Segal, legal director at the ACLU of Massachusetts, released the following statement in response to the ruling:
"Today’s decision confirms that the Constitution allows universities to take into account the operation of race in our society in making admissions decisions. The reality is that racial identity continues to matter, in large part because of historic and continuing racial discrimination, both explicit and implicit, conscious and unconscious. The Supreme Court has made clear, and today’s decision reiterates, that the mere consideration of race in order to achieve a diverse student body does not conflict with the principles of equal protection. To the contrary, it can appropriately advance compelling interests. Yet, the decision also reminds us that universities must take additional steps to counteract implicit racial bias, as well as bias in favor of those with the most privileged backgrounds.”