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Harvard Asian Discrimination Trial Day 13: Defense Expert Claims ‘Schizophrenia Going On’ with Plaintiff’s Analysis

Lawrence Bacow
The Associated Press

In day 13 of the Harvard Asian discrimination trial, lawyers and expert witnesses from each side exchanged verbal blows and “snide remarks.”

According to a report from the Crimson, plaintiff’s lawyer Adam Mortara got into a heated back-and-forth with Harvard lawyer Seth Waxman on Wednesday. The plaintiffs, a group called the Students for Fair Admissions, is in its third week of trial against Harvard University for its alleged discrimination against Asian-American applicants. During a line of questioning from Mortara regarding Harvard’s expert witness’ conclusion that the university did not discriminate, Waxman and Mortara exchanged some verbal blows. 

Mortara’s line of questioning drew complaints from Waxman, but Burroughs allowed Mortara to continue. Later, after Card gave a lengthy explanation in answer to one of Mortara’s questions, the SFFA lawyer snapped. “Thank you. Are you done?” Mortara said, prompting Waxman to stand up and say that questions are one thing, but “snide remarks are another.”

Harvard expert witness UC Berkeley Professor David E. Card took the stand again on Wednesday. Card had a politically incorrect criticism for the plaintiff’s expert witness, Duke economist Peter S. Arcidiacono. “It’s like there’s some kind of schizophrenia going on,” Card said, referring to Arcidiacono’s conclusion. “I just do not find that understandable or consistent.”

Card reemphasized his findings, which centered on the conclusion that Harvard University does not discriminate against Asian-Americans in its admissions process. Card claims that his conclusion is superior to that of Arcidiacono, who served as an expert witness for the plaintiffs. Card argues that Arcidiacano fatally excluded two major variables from the admissions process. Once the missing variables are accounted for, Card argues, there is little statistical evidence of discrimination.

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