In the final day of the Harvard Asian-American discrimination trial on Friday, lawyers from both parties offered their closing statements. Harvard’s lawyer portrayed the Students for Fair Admissions’ lawsuit as an effort to “drastically reduce the number of African-Americans” at Harvard.
After 15 long days in a Boston courthouse, lawyers from both sides of the trial had an opportunity to wrap up their arguments in their closing statements.
The plaintiff, an activist group called the Students for Fair Admissions, sent attorney John M. Hughes to offer a closing statement. Hughes reiterated many of the arguments that had been made over the course of the trial. He pointed to internal Harvard statistics that showed vastly lower “personal rating” scores for Asian-American applicants. He highlighted various comments from Harvard admissions counselors that described Asian-American applicants as “quiet” or “shy.” He concluded by arguing that Harvard has provided no compelling evidence to disprove that they discriminate against Asian-Americans.
Attorney Bill Lee offered a closing statement for Harvard. “The wolf of racial bias is at Harvard’s door and at the door of this courthouse,” Lee said, quoting an earlier argument from SFFA attorney Adam K. Mortara. Lee then argued that the true wolf, in this case, is the Students for Fair Admissions. “It is [the Students for Fair Admissions] who would drastically reduce the number of African-American and Hispanic students on our university and college campuses today,” he said.
Lee appeared confident in a post-trial press conference. During a statement, Lee argued that the Students for Fair Admissions wants to regress society. “The demographics of those here with us today as this trial ends reflect the enormous progress we have made in becoming a more diverse and inclusive society and community. The plaintiff wants to turn back that clock. The plaintiff thinks, as they told us under oath, in terms of the efficient allocation of minority students and winners and losers,” Lee said to the press.