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WASHINGTON, D.C.– Today, Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Statement of Interest supporting Plaintiff students suing Harvard University over affirmative action policies that they claimdiscriminate against Asian-American applicants (Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) v. Harvard).

“It is astounding to see the Justice Department’s position in this case, one that represents a full assault on efforts to promote campus diversity and ignores more than 40 years of precedent. The Justice Department’s racially divisive arguments distort the record, mischaracterize the law and send a dangerous message to institutions across our country working to promote the educational benefits of diversity.

“With its position in this case, the Justice Department is signaling abandonment of the agency’s long-standing historical mission of working to address racial discrimination and promote diversity. At the heart of this case is the unjustified presumption that test scores alone entitle a student admission to Harvard and the unsupported allegation that race drives admission decisions. The Justice Department’s brief ignores the well-documented racial bias embedded in grades and standardized test scores.”

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, which was granted special status in this casethree years ago as “amicus plus” participants, represents a cohort of racially diverse applicants, current students, and alumni at Harvard, including African American, Latino, Native American, and Asian American students.

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Statement of Interest follows its earlier investigation into the diversity efforts of Harvard College and the recent moveby the U.S. Department of Education to rescind the guidance documents that explain the parameters of affirmative action in higher education.

See the U.S. Department of Justice’s full Statement of Interest here.