American Council of Education Claims Ending Racial Preferences in College Admissions Would Chill Speech
The American Council of Education filed an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, arguing that race-conscious admissions policies are protected by the First Amendment. The trade group, which says its member schools “educate two out of every three students in all accredited, degree-granting U.S. institutions,” claims that if the Court prevents universities from considering race in admissions, it would chill the speech of students who want to discuss their racial or ethnic background in their applications. The group further argues that considering race in admissions is an expression of academic freedom.
The brief was submitted for consideration in two connected cases the Supreme Court will hear this fall, Students for Fair Admissions Inc. v. President & Fellows of Harvard College and Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) v. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The two cases were originally combined but were separated after Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson recused herself from the case, as she is a member of Harvard’s Board of Overseers. In the lawsuits, SFFA alleges that “race-conscious” admissions practices allow elite colleges to place illegal quotas on the number of Asian-American students they admit. In particular, this is achieved by deflating the “personality” scores of Asian applicants to justify rejecting them despite stellar academic and extracurricular qualifications. However, Harvard claims that race-conscious admissions practices are necessary to create a racially diverse student body.
“Knowing that experiences tied to race or ethnicity will be categorically disregarded, it seems inevitable that applicants would avoid writing about meaningful experiences that relate to their racial and ethnic identities,” ACE wrote in its brief. “All applicants should be allowed and encouraged to talk about their life experiences and how they might contribute to an institution’s educational environment or community commitments.”
But does this claim hold legal water? “The argument that a ban on race-based admission preferences would restrict the First Amend
Article from Reason.com