Texas medical schools sued for race-conscious admissions practices News
Texas medical schools sued for race-conscious admissions practices

A Texas man filed a lawsuit Tuesday against six state-run medical schools, accusing them of violating anti-discrimination laws by using affirmative action to give preference to female and non-Asian minorities in admissions.

The plaintiff, George Stewart, is a Texas man who was denied admission to all six public medical schools. He filed a class action complaint representing all white and Asian men who are “able and ready to apply for admission to any of these six medical schools.”

Stewart claims that he was denied admission to these medical schools for two years while lesser-qualified minority students were given admission. According to admissions data Stewart obtained and presented in the suit, “the median and mean grade-point averages and MCAT scores of admitted black and Hispanic students are significantly lower than the grade point averages and MCAT scores of admitted white and Asian students.”

In addition to this data, he claims “the John Sealy School of Medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston openly admits that it gives admissions preferences to black and Hispanic applicants,” citing their admissions policy, which seeks to “intentionally recruit and select a class whose racial and socioeconomic demographics are representative of Texas residents.”

Stewart asserts that the admissions policies at the six institutions violate four antidiscrimination laws:

  • Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,  which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, or national origin;
  • Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits sex discrimination in educational programs;
  • The Fourteenth Amendment‘s Equal Protection Clause; and
  • 42 U.S.C. § 1981, which guarantees individuals the same right to make and enforce contracts without regard to race.

The lawsuit references the precedent set in the Supreme Court case Grutter v. Bollinger, which held that the use of race in admissions does not violate the Fourteenth Amendment if it is intended to promote a diverse student body. However, Stewart’s counsel points out that the opinion in Grutter states “race-conscious admissions policies must be limited in time,” showing that the Supreme Court did not intend to permanently permit race-based considerations in admissions. Nevertheless, Stewart seeks the overruling of Grutter and the similar precedent Fisher v. Univerisity of Texas.