Anti-Diversity Lawsuit Against Harvard Law Review Amended

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By George Khoury, Esq. on January 14, 2019 3:00 PM

Civil rights laws aren't always used in popular ways, and sometimes groups will make claims that may appear facially valid, but ultimately are so far off base as to even be offensive.

Surprisingly, two nonprofits have decided to take on Harvard and its law review, for discriminating against white men, and have recently amended their complaint in response to the university's motion to dismiss. In short, the complaint alleges that the law review and university's pro-diversity policies disadvantages white men who seek to teach at the school, or write for or edit for the law review.

This Again?

In addition to Harvard, this same group has filed a lawsuit against NYU School of Law and its law review as well, basically alleging the exact same thing. The argument hinges on a claim that the review process is not 100% merit based, but rather, incorporates other factors, including an applicant's background. The lawsuit stresses that race and gender should not be considered as part of an applicant's background.

Perhaps most notably, despite the fact that awareness of "white privilege" is about as high as it has ever been, the group isn't shy about claiming that non-white male applicants do not receive the same preferential treatment, and that the female and minority applicants that do get accepted only did so due to affirmative action policies. Given the tenor of our times, these sentiments seem out of place, to the point where it's difficult to see the perspective of these plaintiffs.

In the Harvard matter, one issue the plaintiffs sought to resolve on amendment was standing. To date, the plaintiffs have not actually named any individual member(s) of their group(s) who might be affected, though they claim they have one.

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