>> Lawyers accused Harvard University of discriminating against Asian-American applicants on Monday. The first day of a controversial trial in a lawsuit that marks a major challenge to the use of race in college admissions. The trial in Boston sparked dueling protests over the weekend.>> All of us are Americans.
>> A lawsuit was filed by Students for Fair Admissions, a conservative group that has long argued that affirmative action hurts white and Asian-American applicants. The group's founder, Edward Blum, was at the rally for the American dream.>> Harvard has held Asian-Americans to a different academic standard than African-Americans, Hispanics, and whites.
>> Blum was behind the last major affirmative action lawsuit, which was brought on behalf of a white woman, and went to the Supreme Court in 2016. When conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy joined the court's liberals to allow race to be considered in college admissions. But Reuters legal correspondent Nate Raymond says, this time, it's different.
>> Rather than being brought on behalf of a white student, it is brought on behalf of Asian-American applicants, a minority themselves. There have long been concerns among parts of the Asian-American community, and questions by conservatives. Of whether these policies hurt Asian-Americans, whose numbers in America have been rising.
But to critics, have maybe not been admitted to colleges at the proportion that they should be. It's at the lowest court stage, but many people think, regardless who wins this trial, this case could, following appeals, go all the way to the Supreme Court. Who's makeup, since that 2016 case, has changed in a more conservative fashion, especially following the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh.
The lawsuit also, for many people that are interested in getting their kids into elite colleges, has taken on a bit of a different life. In that there's a lot that's gonna be coming out about Harvard's secret sauce, and how it actually goes about picking students.>> The Justice Department last month opened a probe into whether Yale University also discriminates against Asian-Americans.
And Students for Fair Admissions has a similar case pending against the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, on behalf of white students.