I will not do that.
I would tell you there are many things that would surprise people, but less important is what I believe about the environment, the death penalty, abortion, property rights. This is not important. That’s not the core of what I do, nor should it be. You can call me a conservative Republican, and I’m not going to argue with that, but if I were to lay out all the things that would put me in the Hubert Humphrey camp, you might be surprised, Lulu.
I want to talk about last week’s decision. Harvard was at the center of the case. Harvard’s class of 1963 had 18 black students. Now, in the most recently admitted class, the Class of 2027, more than 15 percent of students are Black, 11 percent of students are Latino, and nearly 30 percent are Asian American, which is, by the way, a record percentage of Asian American students for college. Affirmative action, many would say, hasn’t been perfect, but those numbers also tell a story: that taking race into account has led to a dramatically more diverse student body, hasn’t it?
Well, let me take a little step back and talk about the growth in Asian acceptance rates, because that’s something we’ve informed in court.
In 2014, the year we sued Harvard, the Asian admissions rate was, I think, around 18, maybe 19%. Over the past eight years, Harvard admissions rates for Asians have grown from about 18 percent to as high as 30 percent. And yet, if you look back from 2014, to about 1999, it was flat for 20 years. But then when Harvard is sued, suddenly the number of Asians increases by 60%. How is it possible? How did it happen? Well, I think the numbers speak for themselves. [Harvard has attributed the growth to a steady increase in applications in recent years across all racial categories.]
But let me get back to your other question. Is it possible to raise the bar for some kids, based on their ethnicity and race, and lower it for others, in order to create a diverse campus? The law does not allow this in any area of our public policy. There is no way to increase the percentage of Black and Latino students without decreasing the percentage of Asian American and White students.