Watch CBS News

Harvard says it will preserve university's 'essential values' despite Supreme Court affirmative action ruling

Harvard issues statement on Supreme Court's affirmative action desicion
Harvard issues statement on Supreme Court's affirmative action desicion 00:21

CAMBRIDGE - Harvard says it will determine how to preserve the university's "essential values" after the Supreme Court ended the use of affirmative action in college admissions Thursday.

The group Students for Fair Admissions took Harvard to court over the controversial policy back in November 2014. The organization was founded by conservative activist Ed Blum, who for years has fought to end the use of racial preferences in American life.

The group claimed Harvard's race-conscious admissions policies violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits racial discrimination in any program or activity that receives federal funds, by discriminating against Asian-American applicants. Students for Fair Admissions accused Harvard of assigning Asian-American students lower ratings on personality traits than other races and limiting the number of Asian-American applicants it admits.

Two federal courts agreed with Harvard, until the nation's highest court ended the policy Thursday.

"In the weeks and months ahead, drawing on the talent and expertise of our Harvard community, we will determine how to preserve, consistent with the Court's new precedent, our essential values," Harvard president Lawrence Bacow said in a statement.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that universities can still consider "an applicant's discussion of how race affected his or her life, be it through discrimination, inspiration, or otherwise."  

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.