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US Supreme Court Declines to Take Up Appeal to Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (“TJ”) Admissions Policies

This battle has been going on for nearly four years now...and hopefully is over now?

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It’s definitely surprising that this right-wing Supreme Court didn’t take the case on a “diversity-enhancing but race-blind admissions policy” (as SCOTUS reporter Steven Mazie put it – see below) at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (“TJ”) in Fairfax County.

The decision from the high court not to take up the appeal by a group of parents challenging the admissions policies at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology leaves intact a lower court decision upholding the criteria, which school officials argue is race neutral. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit concluded last year that the goal of the program is to foster diversity among the school’s student body, though the parents that brought the case said it impermissibly discriminated against Asian-American students. 

Note that the dissents were by Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas, who are the two most far-right/”out there” Justices on the Supreme Court. Anyway, it’s good news, and hopefully that will be the end of litigation and fighting (which has been going on for over 3 years at this point) over TJ’s admission policies.

P.S. For some background on this case, see Supreme Court Leaves Admissions Policy for Northern Virginia’s Thomas Jefferson School for Science & Technology (“TJ”) in Place…For Now.; Video: Debate Gets *VERY* Heated in Senate Education Committee as Bill to Increase Diversity at Virginia “Governor’s Schools” Is Debated…and Defeated (Sen. Petersen claims the bill “stigmatize[s] a very hard-working community in Fairfax County which I am proud to represent and be married into”; Sen. Locke responded, “there’s always this stone wall, and we’re hearing it here this morning from some of our own members sitting here”); Video: Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology Alumni Speak in Support of Merit Lottery Plan (“It’s not about perfect representation, it’s just an equal chance.”); Fairfax County NAACP Announces Support for “Merit Lottery” Changes to “TJ” Admissions Process; Thomas Jefferson High School Alumni Action Group Endorses Merit Lottery System for “TJ” Admissions (“A merit lottery will bring in talent that will thrive at Jefferson but can’t afford years of test prep.”); etc.

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