In a new federal court filing, Students for Fair Admissions, the advocacy group challenging race-conscious admissions policies, accused the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill of giving "significant racial preferences" to underrepresented minority applicants while ignoring race-neutral alternatives for achieving diversity, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported.
In its motion for summary judgment, Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) argued that UNC unfairly uses race "to ensure the admission of the vast majority of underrepresented minorities" in violation of the Equal Protection Clause and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.
The advocacy group filed federal lawsuits in 2014 against Harvard University and UNC, accusing both universities of going beyond what the Supreme Court has allowed when considering race in admissions.
Last fall, Harvard officials stood witness in a three-week trial in Boston that examined whether the university limits Asian American applicants to make space for students of other races. Now, the UNC case is heating up with both SFFA and the institution filing briefs in the case, outlining for the first time in detail their takes on the issues at Chapel Hill.
UNC, in its motion for summary judgment, rejected SFFA's claims, stating that the educational benefits of diversity are critical to its educational mission, the Chronicle reported. "The undisputed material facts," its filing says, "demonstrate that the university's admissions approach is constitutionally sound." The university also stated that it had "rigorously assessed" race-neutral strategies, yet concluded that none of them would produce desirable results.
By filing motions for summary judgment, both parties argued that the judge should rule in their favor based on their written filings, instead of holding a trial.
Meanwhile, the closely watched Harvard University case could come to a halt this week, as federal courts only have enough funds to operate until the end of the month, Politico reported. The Judiciary is one of the agencies currently shut down, but has been managing in part on court fee balances. Another hearing in the case is scheduled for next month.
The Chronicle of Higher Education