High Court, President Biden Train in on Heritage Confirmations

High Court, President Biden Train in on Heritage Confirmations

Following the Supreme Court’s decision on Thursday to dramatically limit the use of race in college admissions, legacy admissions are the subject of renewed scrutiny.

Although the Supreme Court is divided ideologically regarding the use of race in admissions, opposing opinions from conservative Justice Neil M. Gorsuch and senior liberal Justice Sonia M. Sotomayor found common ground in criticizing Harvard’s practice of giving preference to ALDC applicants—athletes, legacies, primary donors’ relatives, and children of faculty or staff members—in admissions.

As a race-neutral alternative for Harvard’s admissions process, a number of conservative justices had proposed removing legacy preferences during oral arguments in October of last year.

In a press conference that followed the decision, President Joe Biden also took aim at legacy admissions, announcing that he had given the Department of Education the task of “analyzing what practices help build more inclusive and diverse student bodies and what practices hold that back — practices like legacy admissions and other systems that expand privilege instead of opportunity.”

In an agreeing assessment delivered close by the Court’s choice, Gorsuch — who casted a ballot with the greater part in Thursday’s decision — contended that Harvard’s ALDC inclinations in its confirmation cycle “without a doubt benefit white and rich candidates the most.”

“Its inclinations for the offspring of contributors, graduated class, and staff are no assistance to candidates who can’t flaunt their folks’ favorable luck or outings to the graduated class tent for their entire lives,” Gorsuch composed.

Students for Fair Admissions’ evidence from October showed that Harvard could “replicate the current racial composition of its student body without resorting to race-based practices,” according to Gorsuch.

“Numerous different colleges the nation over, SFFA calls attention to, have tried to do exactly that by diminishing inheritance inclinations, expanding monetary guide, and such,” Gorsuch composed.

According to SFFA, affirmative action policies would have the same effect if Harvard gave applicants from economically disadvantaged backgrounds “just half of the tip it gives recruited athletes” and gave donors, alumni, and faculty applicants no preference for admission.
Gorsuch wrote, “At trial, Harvard resisted this proposal.”

Harvard Senior member of Affirmations and Monetary Guide William R. Fitzsimmons ’67 has in length guarded heritage inclinations, with Fitzsimmons saying in a Walk interview that the strategy just gives a “slight tip.”

In her difference, Sotomayor likewise impacted inheritance confirmations yet, in contrast to Gorsuch, contended that Harvard’s proceeded with training of giving inclination to ALDC candidates — who are 67.8 percent white — highlighted the requirement for governmental policy regarding minorities in society. She cited statistics from this fall’s oral arguments that stated, “ALDC applicants make up less than 5% of applicants to Harvard,” despite the fact that they account for “around 30% of the applicants admitted each year.”

In a statement Thursday, former First Lady Michelle Obama wrote that “we usually don’t question” whether students who are children of alumni or had access to “lavish” resources in high school belonged at selective colleges, despite such students being “granted special consideration for admissions.”

“So often, we just accept that money, power, and privilege are perfectly justifiable forms of affirmative action, while kids growing up like I did are expected to compete when the ground is anything but level,” she wrote.

—Staff writer Rahem D. Hamid can be reached at

—Staff writer Thomas J. Mete can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @thomasjmete.

Post Disclaimer

Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Marketwise Analytics journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.

Post Comment