In tandem with attorneys general from 14 other states and the District of Columbia, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura T. Healey expressed support for Harvard University’s race-conscious admissions process in a brief filed in a federal appeals court last week, reports the Harvard Crimson.
The brief is in response to a pending lawsuit against Harvard arguing that the school discriminates against Asian American applicants. The lawsuit’s plaintiff is
the anti-affirmative action group Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA).
While a district court determined in October that Harvard’s admissions process does not intentionally discriminate, the First Circuit Court of Appeals is now hearing the case.
In the brief, Healey and the other attorneys general stressed the importance of affirmative action in higher education as a way to address racial inequities and prepare “future leaders” who are “as diverse as the communities they will serve.”
Additionally, lawyers representing major American corporations such as Apple, Microsoft, General Electric, Twitter, Verizon, and Cisco, to name a few, filed a brief also in favor of Harvard’s admissions process, arguing that diversity among college graduates benefits businesses by improving the recruiting pool and performance.
Meanwhile, according to the Harvard Crimson, a number of other groups and institutions have also voiced their support, including MIT; Stanford University; the University of Chicago; the other seven members of the Ivy League; a coalition of 26 Harvard student and alumni organizations; professors and scholars from several hundred different institutions and organizations; the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund; the American Council on Education and other higher education groups; the Anti-Defamation League, and two basketball coaches’ associations.