Harvard Admissions Lawsuit Plaintiff Recruits Students for Similar Case at UT

UPDATED: March 7, 2017 at 3:14 p.m.

Students for Fair Admissions, an anti-affirmative action group currently suing Harvard for allegedly discriminating against Asian American students in its College admissions processes, launched a new website Thursday to recruit students for a similar lawsuit at the University of Texas at Austin.

According to the website, UTnotFair.com, SFFA believes that “the University of Texas at Austin is unconstitutionally discriminating on the basis of race in its admissions process” and plans to “end this discrimination by challenging this process in the courts.”

SFFA’s new website closely mirrors HarvardnotFair.org, a website created in 2014 by SFFA president Edward Blum to recruit students rejected by the College for the then-nascent lawsuit against Harvard.

UT Austin faced allegations of racial discrimination in its admissions practices in two cases filed by Abigail N. Fisher—and spearheaded by Edward Blum—that reached the United States Supreme Court. Harvard filed an impassioned amicus brief in the second Fisher case, urging the Court to continue allowing universities to consider race in admissions.

The Supreme Court upheld UT Austin's affirmative action processes in 2016.

Cory R. Liu, the new volunteer executive director of SFFA, said the organization believed it was worthwhile to attempt another lawsuit against UT Austin, this time centering on the way the school’s admissions practices consider Asian American applicants.

“As an Asian American, I felt there was an angle that wasn’t really being discussed much in the media and by the judges,” Liu said. “Just talking to people that I know, a lot of Asian Americans and a lot of high school students know exactly what the issue is about and they’re excited about another opportunity to bring this issue to court.”

But Matthew M. Cregor, an attorney representing the group of students defending Harvard’s policies in its current lawsuit, questioned SFFA’s new suit.

“They sure seem to be thinking that the third time must be the charm,” Cregor said.

Harvard and SFFA are currently gathering evidence to be used in their ongoing lawsuit. In Oct. 2016, Harvard notified hundreds of thousands of applicants to the College that their “academic, extracurricular, demographic, and other information” would become part of the lawsuit.

—Staff writer William S. Flanagan can be reached at will.flanagan@thecrimson.com. Follow him on Twitter @crimsonwill21.

—Staff writer Michael E. Xie can be reached at michael.xie@thecrimson.com. Follow him on Twitter @MichaelEXie1.

This article has been revised to reflect the following clarification:

CLARIFICATION: March 7, 2017

A previous version of this article indicated that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the University of Texas at Austin in both Fisher I and Fisher II. To clarify, the Court remanded Fisher I to a circuit court, which then ruled in favor of UT Austin.

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