students for Fair Admissions, the group that won the Supreme Court cases outlawing affirmative action in admissions, sent an email Tuesday night to 150 colleges and universities, making demands. The group said that the colleges were public and private.
The email first outlined the group’s view of the decision. It said the court ruled that:
- “Colleges’ assertion that racial preferences can achieve educational benefits are ‘not sufficiently coherent’ to survive strict scrutiny.
- “No system can rely even in part on the traditional racial ‘categories,’ which are ‘imprecise,’ ‘overbroad,’ ‘underinclusive,’ and ‘opaque.’
- “Because race can never be a ‘negative,’ it can never be a positive in admissions. College admissions are ‘zero-sum’ and thus ‘[a] benefit provided to some applicants but not to others necessarily advantages the former group at the expense of the latter.’
- “Any program that includes race as a factor unconstitutionally tolerates ‘stereotyping,’ which ‘can only cause continued hurt and injury, contrary as it is to the core purpose of the Equal Protection Clause.’
- “Racial preferences cannot continue indefinitely. And any attempt to use race until a particular ethnic balance is achieved ‘turns’ the equal-protection guarantee ‘on its head.’
- “And critically, our law is ‘color-blind.’ What some used to dismiss as ‘rhetorical flourishes about colorblindness’ are actually the ‘proud pronouncements’ of the court’s cases.”
Then the letter, from Edward Blum, the president of the group, told the colleges it was “incumbent upon your institution to ensure compliance with this decision.”
Specifically, colleges should:
- “Cease making available to admissions officers ‘check box’ data about the race of applicants.
- “During the admissions cycle, prohibit your admissions office from preparing or reviewing any aggregated data (i.e., data involving two or more applicants) regarding race or ethnicity.
- “Eliminate any definition or guidance regarding ‘underrepresented’ racial groups.
- “Promulgate new admissions guidelines that make clear race is not to be a factor in the admission or denial of admission to any applicant. This includes clear instructions that essay answers, personal statements, or other parts of an application cannot be used to ascertain or provide a benefit based on the applicant’s race. For ‘what cannot be done directly cannot be done indirectly,’ and an applicant ‘must be treated based on his or her experiences as an individual—not on the basis of race.’”
The letter was sent to presidents, deans of admissions and general counsels.