Harvard has spent over $27 million defending its race-based admission policy, according to an insurance filing.
The insurance filing became public after Harvard failed to file a timely formal claim with one of its insurance companies.
Now, the insurance company and Harvard are battling over $15 million of that cost.
As Harvard prepares to defend its race-conscious admissions program at the Supreme Court this month, a federal judge in Boston is considering a related dispute arising from a fumbled insurance filing, one that could cost the university $15 million.
Harvard failed to file a timely formal claim with one of its insurance companies for its expenses in defending the lawsuit challenging its admissions policies. That company, Zurich American Insurance, refused to pay, and Harvard sued. In the process, the university disclosed that its legal fees and expenses in the admissions lawsuit and a related Justice Department investigation had topped $27 million.
“One of the nation’s top universities is apparently not great about doing its homework,” said David Lat, a legal commentator.
Days after Students for Fair Admissions sued Harvard in 2014, arguing that its practice of taking account of race in its undergraduate admissions decisions was unlawful and harmed Asian American applicants, the university formally notified its primary insurance carrier to seek payment of its defense costs. That policy had a $25 million limit, after Harvard paid $2.5 million.
The Supreme Court is hearing Students for Fair Admissions Inc. (SFFA) v. President & Fellows of Harvard College, a race-based affirmative action case on October 31st.
The U.S. Supreme Court announced it would hear one of two cases on Oct. 31 that could dismantle the 40-year precedent of race-based affirmative action in university admissions, with universities now urging the court to preserve the decision despite some expert opinion to the contrary.
Students for Fair Admissions Inc. (SFFA) v. President & Fellows of Harvard College is one of two cases to come before the Supreme Court urging it to eliminate race as an admissions factor and, as a result, overturn the precedent case, Grutter v. Bollinger. The case also seeks to answer whether Harvard College violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act through its alleged discrimination against Asian American students, stemming from the initial lawsuit.
“It’s very clear to me that Harvard University was engaging in blatant discrimination. And what they were doing was they did not like the fact that Asian Americans — if they were simply admitted based on their credentials, qualifications — would have such a huge percentage of the student body,” Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation, told Fox News Digital.
Why doesn’t Harvard lower the cost for students instead of spending millions defending this policy?