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Harvard Law School

Lawsuit Against Harvard Law Review Dismissed

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against the Harvard Law Review alleging that the legal journal violated federal anti-discrimination laws in its member and article selection policies.
The Harvard Crimson reports that the suit, filed by Texas-based anti-affirmative action group
Faculty, Alumni, and Students Opposed to Racial Preferences (FASORP), was filed back in October. Then, the group argued that the Review’s selection process violates federal laws of race and gender discrimination. The suit also implicated Harvard University, Harvard Law School, and the United States Department of Education.
According to the Harvard Law Review, the staff selection process accepts 48 law students each year using a three-pronged process. 20 of the students are chosen solely based on performance in a writing competition, while 10 are selected based on the competition and law school grades. The remaining 18 are selected through “a holistic but anonymous review that takes into account all available information,” according to the law review’s website.
The FASORP alleged that this “holistic” review process is unfair as it may include information regarding “racial or ethnic identity, physical disability status, gender identity, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status.”
Federal judge Leo T. Sorokin, who dismissed the suit, argued that the plaintiffs’ assertions of standing did not include any names of “affected members.”
“Their failure to supply even the slightest description of any member who might satisfy the prerequisites for Article III standing — including concrete and particularized, actual or imminent injury redressable by a favorable decision in this case — requires dismissal of the Amended Complaint in its entirety,” Sorokin writes.
The judge also stated that the plaintiff failed to provide evidence of the allegedly discriminatory hiring practices.
“The Amended Complaint likewise contains no facts — let alone sufficient facts — to illuminate the conclusory assertion that HLS (“along with nearly every law school in the United States”) discriminates on the basis of gender and race when hiring faculty,” Sorokin writes.
Sources: Harvard Crimson, Harvard Law Review