A federal judge has ruled that North Carolina’s flagship public university can continue to consider race as a factor in its undergraduate admissions, rebuffing a conservative group's argument that affirmative action disadvantages White and Asian students.
U.S. District Judge Loretta Biggs ruled late Monday that the University of North Carolina has shown that it has a compelling reason to pursue a diverse student body and has demonstrated that measurable benefits come from that goal.
"In sum, the Court concludes that UNC has met its burden in demonstrating that it has a genuine and compelling interest in achieving the educational benefits of diversity," Biggs wrote.
TEACHER SHORTAGES IMPACTING SCHOOLS NATIONWIDE
Students for Fair Admissions sued UNC in 2014, arguing that using race and ethnicity as a factor in college admissions violates the equal protection cause of the Constitution and federal civil rights law. The group contended that UNC had gone too far in using race as a factor in admissions and had thus "intentionally discriminated against certain of (its) members on the basis of their race, color, or ethnicity."
The group's president, Edward Blum, told The Associated Press in an interview Tuesday that it would appeal by day's end to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. His group already appealed a denial in a similar lawsuit against Harvard University. Blum said he hopes both cases get bundled together so that the U.S. Supreme Court rules simultaneously on private and public universities.
"Shame on Harvard, shame on UNC and shame on all universities who take federal funds from considering race as an element," said Blum, who has long sought to rid college admissions of race-based admissions policies.