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A rejected Law School applicant, who is suing Harvard because he feels that the Law School admissions office violated his civil rights by not admitting him, brought his case Tuesday before the U.S. Court of Appeals.
Kenneth B. Krohn asked the panel of three appeals court judges to declare Harvard a public institution-a status that would oblige the Law School to uphold his 14th amendment rights-in order to force Harvard to answer his charges.
Krohn, who originally filed his suit with the U.S. District court in September of 1975 after his rejection the previous spring, took his case on appeal after a District Court judge accepted Harvard's motion to dismiss the case last August.
The suit rests on Krohn's contention that, because the Commonwealth of Massachusetts originally founded and endowed the University, Harvard is still subject to state action.
37 and White
Krohn, who is 37 and white, would demand under the 14th amendment to the Constitution that the Law School prove his rejection was not a result of reverse discrimination.
He bases his qualifications for admission on the perfect 800 score he received on the Law School Admissions Test.
Two lawyers representing the University said in court Tuesday that Harvard does not legally come under state action. In an affidavit presented to the court, the lawyers said that the state has no input into its admissions decision, nor into "any aspect of the governance of Harvard University."
Daniel Steiner, general counsel for the University, who attended the court proceedings, said yesterday he would prefer not to speculate about how the court would decide, but added, "our case is strong."
Krohn could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Judge Levin H. Campbell '48, one of the three presiding judges, said in court that Krohn's argument that Harvard should still be considered a division of the state seemed "a bit bizarre."
Steiner said he could not predict when the judges would return a decision
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