The group responsible for the nationwide overturning of affirmative action has dropped its lawsuit challenging the race-based admissions policies of Yale University.
According to Politico, Students for Fair Admissions (SFA) came to an agreement with the Ivy League school in which they would voluntarily drop their lawsuit, in exchange for Yale making several changes to its admissions policies prior to the Fall 2023 undergraduate application season.
SFA’s lawsuit was filed in February of 2021, over two years before the Supreme Court made its landmark rulings in two cases involving the group – Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina – which ultimately led to the nationwide banning of race-based admissions practices in public and private universities alike.
The Yale lawsuit was filed as part of a prior effort by the Trump Administration to challenge the university’s admissions policy after a two-year investigation. But following the Supreme Court’s decision in June of this year, the Yale lawsuit was put on hold.
“We are pleased that, after hearing Yale’s description of the steps we will take to comply with the Supreme Court’s ruling, SFFA has decided to dismiss its case against Yale,” said the university in a statement. “Yale’s priorities remain unchanged: fully complying with the law, continuing to support a diverse and inclusive community, and maintaining a world-class admissions process that considers each applicant as an individual. We are confident that we can preserve these priorities going forward.”
The joint stipulation between SFA and Yale was filed on Thursday in the United States District Court of Connecticut, and included several of the major changes that the university would make in order to adhere to the new precedent set by the Supreme Court.
Among other changes, Yale will update its training materials to explicitly state that race can no longer be used as a deciding factor in admissions, and as such will take “technological steps” to make sure no one in the admissions office has access to applicants’ racial information. The university will also no longer publish any reports detailing the racial composition of the student body, and race will not be used as a factor in determining the awarding of financial aid.
In the landmark decision involving Harvard, the Supreme Court ruled 6-2 that affirmative action policies overwhelmingly discriminated against White Americans and Asian-Americans, in favor of artificially boosting the numbers of black Americans and Hispanic Americans; Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson had to recuse herself from the Harvard case due to her prior involvement with the university. In the University of North Carolina case, the court ruled 6-3 against affirmative action.