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University of North Carolina may consider race in admissions – The Journal

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Federal judge ruled flagship North Carolina public university may continue to view race as a factor in its undergraduate admissions

RALEIGH, NC (AP) – A federal judge has ruled that the flagship public university of North Carolina may continue to view race as a factor in its undergraduate admissions, rebutting the argument of a conservative group according to which affirmative action disadvantages white and Asian students.

U.S. District Judge Loretta Biggs ruled Monday night that the University of North Carolina has shown a compelling reason to pursue a diverse student body and has shown measurable benefits flow from that goal.

“In summary, the Court finds that the UNC has discharged its burden by demonstrating that it has a genuine and compelling interest in obtaining the educational benefits of diversity,” Biggs wrote.

Students for Fair Admissions sued the UNC in 2014, arguing that the use of race and ethnicity as a factor in college admissions violates the cause of equal protection of the Constitution and the law federal law on civil rights. The group argued that the UNC went too far in using race as an admission factor and thus “intentionally discriminated against some of (its) members on the basis of their race, color or ethnicity”.

Group chairman Edward Blum told The Associated Press in an interview on Tuesday that he would appeal by the end of the day to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. His group has previously appealed a denial in a similar lawsuit against Harvard University. Blum said he hoped the two cases would be merged so that the United States Supreme Court would rule on private and public universities simultaneously.

“Shame on Harvard, shame on UNC and shame on all universities that take federal funds to view race as a component,” said Blum, who has long sought to rid college admissions of admissions based on admission policies. the race.

In June, the Supreme Court asked the Justice Department to rule on Blum’s Harvard trial, backed by the administration of former President Donald Trump. Trump’s Justice Department also challenged Yale University’s admissions practices in a lawsuit that President Joe Biden’s administration dropped earlier this year.

The UNC retaliated in court that its admissions practices are legally and constitutionally permissible and that non-racial alternatives would not allow it to meet its diversity goals. Of about 20,000 undergraduate students at UNC this fall semester of 2021, about 56% are white, nearly 13% Asian, about 10% Hispanic and 8.5% black, the university said.

“This decision clearly shows that the university’s holistic admissions approach is legal,” said an emailed statement from Beth Keith, spokesperson for the university. “We assess each student in a deliberate and thoughtful manner, appreciating each other’s strengths, talents and contributions to a campus community where students from all walks of life can excel and thrive.

Justice Biggs wrote that she applied the University of Texas US Supreme Court precedent, which established that schools can view race in admissions in narrowly tailored ways to promote diversity.

She noted that the UNC “offered a principled and reasoned”, research-backed explanation for its quest for a diverse student body, citing a 2005 report from a UNC task force according to where its academic goals depend on a “critical mass” of under-represented students. groups.

“The University has presented substantial evidence demonstrating its good faith in the pursuit of the educational benefits that flow from diversity,” the judge concluded.

The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights under the Act represented a group of students of diverse racial backgrounds who intervened in the case demanding that the university support even more minorities. Her statement says that considering race in admissions helps ensure talented applicants from historically marginalized groups are not overlooked.

“As our clients demonstrated with their testimony at trial and their evidence, race is an integral part of a student’s identity and should be treated as such during the admissions process,” said lawyer Geneviève. Bonadies-Torres.

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Follow Anderson on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BryanRAnderson and Drew on Twitter at https://twitter.com/JonathanLDrew.

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Anderson is a member of the Associated Press / Report for America Statehouse News Initiative corps. Report for America is a national, nonprofit service program that places reporters in local newsrooms to cover undercover issues.

FILE – In this March 18, 2020 file photo, people remove their belongings from the University of North Carolina campus in Chapel Hill, NC A federal judge has ruled that the flagship public university of Carolina du Nord could continue to view race as a factor in his undergraduate admissions. The ruling flies in the face of plaintiffs who argued that race-based admissions disadvantaged white and Asian students. U.S. District Judge Loretta Biggs ruled late on Monday, October 18, 2021 that the University of North Carolina has shown a compelling reason to pursue a diverse student body and has shown measurable benefits to flow from that goal. (AP Photo / Gerry Broome, file)

FILE – In this March 18, 2020 file photo, a pedestrian crosses the University of North Carolina campus in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. A federal judge ruled that the flagship public university of North Carolina may continue to view race as a factor in its undergraduate admissions. The ruling flies in the face of plaintiffs who argued that race-based admissions disadvantaged white and Asian students. U.S. District Judge Loretta Biggs ruled late on Monday, October 18, 2021 that the University of North Carolina has shown a compelling reason to pursue a diverse student body and has shown measurable benefits to flow from that goal. (AP Photo / Gerry Broome, file)



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