I would tell you that there are many things that would surprise people, but it is less important what I believe about the environment, capital punishment, abortion, property rights. That doesn’t matter. That is not the focus of what I do, nor should it be. You can call me a conservative Republican, and I won’t dispute that, but if I laid out all the things that would put me in Hubert Humphrey’s camp, you might be surprised, Lulu.
I want to talk about last week’s decision. Harvard was at the center of the case. The Harvard class of 1963 had 18 Black students. Now, in the most recently admitted class, the class of 2027, more than 15 percent of the students are black, 11 percent of the students are Latino, and almost 30 percent are Asian-American, which is, by the way, a record ratio. of Asian American students for the college. Affirmative action, many would argue, wasn’t perfect, but those numbers also tell a story: that taking race into account led to a dramatically more diverse student body, right?
Well, let me back up a little bit and talk about the growth in the Asian acceptance rates, because this is something that we’ve reported in court.
In 2014, the year we sued Harvard, the Asian acceptance rate was, I think, about 18, maybe 19 percent. Over the past eight years, Harvard’s acceptance rates for Asians have grown from about 18 percent now to 30 percent. However if you look back from 2014, to about 1999, it was flat for 20 years. But then when Harvard is sued, suddenly the number of Asians increases by 60 percent. How is that possible? How did that happen? Well, I think the numbers speak for themselves. [Harvard has attributed the growth to a steady increase in applications in recent years across all racial categories.]
But let me go back to your other question. Can the bar be raised for some kids, based on their ethnicity and their race, and lowered for others, to create a diverse campus? The law does not allow this in any area of our public policy. There is no way to increase the percentage of black and Latino students without decreasing the percentage of Asian American and white students.