Your current web browser is outdated. For best viewing experience, please consider upgrading to the latest version.
ERROR
Main Error Mesage Here
More detailed message would go here to provide context for the user and how to proceed
ERROR
Main Error Mesage Here
More detailed message would go here to provide context for the user and how to proceed
search DONATE
Close Nav

Manhattan Institute files amicus brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth District

back to top
press release

Manhattan Institute files amicus brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth District

July 7, 2022

New York, NY — On June 20th, the Manhattan Institute submitted an amicus (“friend of the court”) brief in a case pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, Coalition for TJ v. Braband. The case involves the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJ), a state-chartered magnet school in Fairfax County, Virginia regularly rated among the best public high schools in the United States. In late 2020, the school’s board decided that its “racial makeup” was “problematic and should be changed”; and the board changed its admissions policies to “decrease the representation of Asian-Americans” at the school. (Read more about the case in a recent City Journal article: “Thomas Jefferson High School Rebuked for Racial Discrimination.”

The brief, co-authored by incoming MI senior fellow and director of constitutional studies Ilya Shapiro and by Daniel Morenoff of the American Civil Rights Project, argues that the school board’s intentional effort to “balance” the racial composition of children at a public K-12 school, when not undertaken to “remedy the effects of past intentional discrimination,” is “patently unconstitutional.” The brief also presents evidence showing that the board’s policy changes restricting Asian-American admissions to the school “produced an incoming Class of 2025 dramatically less prepared to thrive than its predecessors.”  

Commenting on the case, Shapiro, along with MI adjunct fellow Wai Wah Chin and MI Paulson Public Policy Analyst Renu Mukherjee, added the following: 

  • Shapiro: “The school board’s actions are cynical, divisive, and literally racist. American law simply doesn’t allow this kind of racial discrimination by government officials—regardless of what the Supreme Court does in the Harvard/UNC affirmative-action cases next year.” 

  • Chin: “This case is not just about TJ. This is also about discrimination around the nation, from kindergarten through higher education, against a group for race, and about dumbing down and destroying standards, all because of regressive ‘equity.’ We need to keep high standards, improve education for all, and not discriminate by race.” 

  • Mukherjee: “Fairfax County School Board’s (FCSB) new admissions policy at TJ was adopted in the name of furthering student body diversity. This is the same justification that many colleges and universities have used to defend their affirmative action programs, which, in effect, likewise penalize Asian-American applicants. TJ’s race-conscious admissions policy relies on a justification that the Supreme Court not only limits to higher education, but also could very possibly do away with in the coming year, rendering FCSB’s defense even weaker than it already is.” 

Read the amicus brief here. 

Contact:Nicolas (Nic) AbouchedidPress Officer(574) 707-9494nabouchedid@manhattan-institute.org

Saved!
Close