Judicial Watch to Supreme Court: Hold Harvard Accountable!
The Supreme Court Should Hear Challenge to Harvard’s Race-Based Admissions Policies
The latest Leftist uproar — this over the alleged treatment of Asian Americans — points up their utter hypocrisy on race: accuse Americans broadly of racism while promoting racist policies. For example, it’s a poorly kept secret that academic bastions of leftist ideology have long been discriminating against Asians. Harvard leads the pack.
With our friends at the Allied Educational Foundation (AEF), we filed an amici curiae brief in support of Students for Fair Admission’s petition for a writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court, challenging the decision of the U.S. District Court for the First Circuit that upholds Harvard College’s race-based affirmative action admissions program. (Students for Fair Admission v. President & Fellows of Harvard College (No. 20-1199)).
Students for Fair Admission argues that Harvard’s admissions program intentionally discriminates against Asian Americans on the basis of race and violates Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which bans unconstitutional race-based admissions by public universities. Students for Fair Admission also argues that the Supreme Court should overrule the decision in Grutter v. Bollinger, which held that institutions of higher education could use race as a factor in admissions. The petitioners allege that this discriminatory admission’s policy violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause:
No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
In our brief, we note that the Equal Protection Clause was designed to stop discrimination:
[O]ne of the core purposes of the Equal Protection Clause is to guarantee that individuals will be free from discrimination based upon race. It should come as no surprise to anyone that legalizing the use of race in deciding who is admitted to schools of higher learning has caused enormous conflict, including among members of this Court.
Our brief rejects the notion discriminating by race in admissions can be justified by “diversity” goals:
College and university administrators might promote greater cross-racial understanding and tolerance in their students, not by racially discriminating against applicants for admission to their schools, but by working to make their schools more tolerant of the expression of different points of view. Admissions programs that intentionally discriminate on the basis of race may themselves be negatively affecting the level of racial understanding and tolerance on today’s college campuses.
We argue that past Supreme Court rulings which failed to enforce the Equal Protection Clause’s prohibition against racial classifications have not stood the test of time. Citing Plessy v. Ferguson, Korematsu v. United States, and Hirabayashi v. United States they state:
Rulings by this Court which held that under the Equal Protection Clause individuals may be treated differently based on race have been wrongfully decided …
In each of these three cases, the Court ruled that treating individuals differently based on a racial classification did not violate the Equal Protection Clause. In each of these cases, the Court found that the government had justified its disparate treatment under the strict scrutiny test. These infamous cases demonstrate how misguided it is for this Court to sanction discriminatory racial classifications.
Additionally, we argue that this case should be heard because the Supreme Court, for decades, has failed to set a clear precedent on the issue of race-based admissions programs for lower courts:
The Bakke line of cases has failed to provide guidance to lower courts and university administrators about what constitutes a permissible race-based admission program. Bakke has led to five rulings over 43 years, in which there are 26 separate opinions. In each, the Court attempts to explain the constitutional rationale for allowing race-based preferences – even though these plainly conflict with the original meaning and text of the Equal Protection Clause.
Court-sanctioned racial discrimination in college admissions is contrary to federal law and the U.S. Constitution. The Supreme Court should stop abusing its powers to protect racial discrimination and uphold the rights of Asian students and other innocents punished for being of the wrong race by Harvard and other universities.
The Allied Educational Foundation is a charitable and educational foundation dedicated to improving the quality of life through education. In furtherance of that goal, the Foundation has engaged in a number of projects, which include educational and health conferences domestically and abroad. AEF has partnered frequently with us to fight government and judicial corruption and to promote a return to ethics and morality in the nation’s public life.
Maryland Opens ‘Special Clinic’ to Give Latinos COVID-19 Vaccines
Too many public health officials put race politics first when it comes to directing the distribution of limited vaccine doses to groups they favor. Our Corruption Chronicles blog has the latest from Maryland.
While many Maryland residents wait patiently to receive their government-funded COVID-19 vaccine, the state’s two biggest counties—both illegal immigrant sanctuaries—have launched a special clinic to inoculate 600 Latinos a week. The exclusive operation will be stationed at the Adventist HealthCare facility in Takoma Park, which is situated in Montgomery County, Maryland’s most populous. The shots will also be offered to Latinos who live in nearby Prince George’s County. Recipients will be “preselected” by an area open borders group, Casa de Maryland, and a Latino Health Initiative launched by Montgomery County two decades ago. In a statement announcing the venture public officials claim that it will help overcome inequities in the vaccine rollout as well as general health disparities that plague poor minority communities.
Judicial Watch is investigating the special Latino clinic, including how the vaccine candidates are chosen and the criteria used by public officials and Casa de Maryland to screen who qualifies. Is it based on a person’s looks, name, or proof of lineage? Judicial Watch has repeatedly tried to contact public officials involved in the project and media representatives for both counties as well as the Adventist HealthCare public relations person listed in the announcement, but calls have gone unanswered. In the name of transparency, Judicial Watch launched Maryland Public Information Act requests for both counties seeking, among other things, the eligibility criteria for individuals who want vaccinations in the special clinic and records identifying the reasons for limiting it to Latinos and excluding other races, ethnicities, or groups. The public records requests also ask both counties for any analyses of whether limiting the vaccination program to Latinos is consistent with state and federal law, including but not limited to the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Taxpaying Americans have the right to know the details surrounding this exclusionary venture involving a government-funded vaccine intended for all the nation’s residents. The shots were created as part of a Trump administration initiative called Operation Warp Speed to accelerate the development, production and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and deliver 300 million doses. The U.S. reportedly invested $18 billion on the project which involves several key government agencies—such as the Department of Defense (DOD), Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)—and private companies.
Elected officials in the two Maryland counties offering Latinos priority say it is essential to promoting equitable vaccine distribution. The Vice-Chair of the Prince George’s County Council, Deni Taveras, claims special clinics like the one catering to Latinos are “crucial for helping close the disparity gap.” Montgomery County Council President Tom Hucker asserts that the new inoculation site will help address and overcome “the inequities in our state’s vaccine rollout.” Council Vice President Gabe Albornoz said the Latino project will “help bridge the health inequities imposed by this lethal virus.” The director of the county’s Latino Health Initiative, Sonia Mora, says the public-private vaccination partnership is a bridge for local governments to “overcome inequities and gaps facing the most vulnerable among us.”
Montgomery County launched the Latino Health Initiative, which receives hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars annually, to develop and implement a culturally and linguistically competent health wellness system that values and respects Latino families and communities. The initiative promotes a comprehensive and holistic approach to health and wellness by working with stakeholders throughout the county to enhance programs and services targeting Latinos, develop models and services for Latinos and advocate for policies and practices that effectively reach the county’s Latino communities. Among the county health program’s “partners and collaborators” is Casa de Maryland, a nonprofit that operates day laborer centers for illegal immigrants which are partially funded with public money.
This is hardly the first case involving the discriminatory practice of a local government when it comes to COVID-19 vaccine distribution. In late February Judicial Watch reported that Virginia shifted its vaccine distribution to prioritize black and Latino residents as white 85-year-olds struggled to get the shot. At the time the state was vaccinating the population in phases, with healthcare personnel and residents of long-term care facilities receiving utmost priority. With that population completed, according to the Virginia Department of Health, the second group included a peculiar combination of frontline workers, people 65 and over, those with medical conditions, incarcerated criminals and those living in homeless shelters or migrant labor camps. Then the state shifted to give preference to black and Latino residents 65 and over while much older white seniors, many in their 80s, failed to secure an appointment.
Crime Surges as Progressive Policies Gain Ground
Radical left prosecutors and allied politicians are contributing to dangerous surges in crime in many of our nation’s big cities. In his Investigative Bulletin, Micah Morrison, our chief investigative reporter, exposes how politics is triumphing over public safety and the rule of law:
The early 2021 crime statistics are in and the news is not good. In almost every category, violent crime in urban America is rising.
On Tuesday, New York City’s comprehensive CompStat crime-monitoring system reported a 36 percent jump in March murders from the previous year. Shootings? A 77 percent increase over the previous year.
And it’s not “just” murders and shootings. In late March, drawing on CompStat data, the New York Post raised alarms about “a startling crime surge.” The paper noted a shocking weekly surge in crime data from March 22 to March 28. When compared to the same period last year, in addition to a rise in murders and shootings, rapes were up 125 percent, felony assault up 23 percent, auto theft up 42 percent, robberies up 9 percent.
That looks like the signal of a crime wave.
It’s not just New York. Drawing on local data, CNN recently reported that in Chicago, murders are up 33 percent for 2021, compared to the same period in 2020.
In Los Angeles, according to news reports, 64 people were murdered in the first two months of 2021, an increase of 39 percent over the same period in 2020. Gun violence was up sharply, with 570 reports of shots fired, an 88 percent jump from the previous year.
The troubling news comes as no surprise to Judicial Watch followers. We have repeatedly warned about rising crime in urban America. We’ve also pinpointed a major source of the problem: progressive policy changes.
A “radical criminal-justice reform movement” has succeeded in elections in cities around the country, notes the Manhattan Institute’s Rafael Mangual in the new issue of City Journal. The changes are sweeping: “everything from bail and pretrial discovery to pedestrian stops and ‘restorative’ diversion programs.”
The progressive prosecutor movement—electoral bids “often helped along by funding from left-wing billionaire George Soros,” Mangual notes—has been notching significant successes. “Cities with progressive prosecutors include Chicago (Kim Foxx), San Francisco (Chesa Boudin), Boston (Rachel Rollins), Philadelphia (Larry Krasner), and many others—including New York.”
New York often is a bell weather for change in urban America. That’s the case these days with issues of crime and punishment. And with the retirement of Cyrus Vance Jr., the influential post of Manhattan District Attorney—the second most powerful prosecuting office in the U.S. after the Justice Department—is up for grabs in June.
Manhattan is a Democratic Party stronghold, and the June party primary will essentially decide the Manhattan DA election. The eight Democratic contenders range from center-left moderates to far-left apparatchiks with no prosecutorial experience. There is no front runner.
“In an era of unrest and cries for social justice,” noted Daniel Alonso, a former senior Vance prosecutor writing in the Daily News, the eight candidates all embrace various forms of “progressive prosecutorial agendas — aiming to reduce the focus on incarceration in favor of more lenient alternatives, social services, and greater scrutiny of police officers.”
That’s a big gamble in an era of rising crime. New York—along with much of the rest of urban America—will soon see if the progressive prosecutor movement is a winning bet.
Until next week …