Liberty Justice Center Challenges Race-Based School Admission Policies in Virginia and Urges U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Coalition for TJ v. Fairfax County School Board

September 20, 2023

LJC Urges SCOTUS to Hear Case on Race-Based School Admission Policies

On September 20th, the Liberty Justice Center (LJC) filed an amicus brief along with Momoko Takahashi—a scientist who faced discrimination during her academic career due to her ethnicity—urging the United States Supreme Court to hear Coalition for TJ v. Fairfax County School Board, a case challenging recently-implemented race-based admission policies at the nation’s top-ranked high school.

In 2021, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology—the top-ranked public high school in the United States, often referred to as just “TJ”—revised its admissions policies to cap the number of students the high school would accept from each middle school in the district. School officials describe the policy’s objective as “racial balancing”—that is, selectively admitting students to “reflect the racial makeup of the school district.”

The case’s plaintiff, the “Coalition for TJ,” sued the school board in March 2021, arguing that, far from promoting diversity, the revised policy disproportionately harms Asian-American students—and benefits white students by a far greater margin than officials suggest.

In their amicus brief, the Liberty Justice Center and Ms. Takahashi urge the Supreme Court to grant the plaintiff’s petition for certiorari, arguing that discriminating against students based on race violates their constitutional right to equal protection. LJC and Takahashi also argue that race-based admissions policies reduce students to tokens and, by grouping all students of Asian descent under one broad category, erase the rich diversity among the different cultures of the world’s largest continent.

“Fairfax County’s quota system discriminates against Asian and Asian-American students in the name of diversity,” said Liberty Justice Center Senior Counsel Buck Dougherty. “We urge the Supreme Court to hear this case and clarify that there is no defense for race-based discrimination in the American educational system.”

The Liberty Justice Center’s amicus brief is available here.


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