Supreme Court Declines Emergency Relief in Thomas Jefferson High School Case

I have been writing (here and here and here) on the controversy over the decision of the Fairfax School Board to change the admissions requirements for Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology to achieve diversity goals. Now, the United States Supreme Court has denied a request for emergency intervention in the case. However, the decision is not the end of the case. The Court may still review the admissions changes and three justices are already signaling that they would like to do so.

Last February, District Judge Claude Hilton issued an injunction ordering the Fairfax County School Board to stop using the policy immediately. In March, however, an appellate panel decided the board could temporarily continue to use the race-based admissions policy.

Yesterday, the Court rejected an emergency request to lift the stay of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. The Fourth Circuit is currently reviewing the case.

In an unsigned order, the Court merely declared “The application to vacate the stay presented to The Chief Justice and by him referred to the Court is denied.” However, it noted that Associate Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch would have granted the application. That is significant because it will only take four justices to accept the case when it comes back after a ruling by the Fourth Circuit.

The decision is not surprising. Other justices may share the concern of these three dissenters over the policy but want to read the Fourth Circuit’s opinion. There is a general preference for regular order in allowing lower courts to be heard. The Fourth Circuit could ultimately agree with Judge Hilton and restore his order.

Moreover, the school was objecting that the timing of a stay would have disrupted its admitting a new class in the interim.

Some justices may also believe that pending cases could help answer these questions. The Court is considering two major college admissions cases, which also allege racial discrimination against Asian students. The Court’s resolution of admissions challenges at Harvard and the University of North Carolina may bring greater clarity in the area.



18 thoughts on “Supreme Court Declines Emergency Relief in Thomas Jefferson High School Case”

  1. Has there ever been a case where a violation of fundamental Constitutional rights has been determined at first instance and a stay has effectively been granted on remedying that violation – for years – as it winds its way up the Court system? The big issue is not that 3 justices would have granted the stay. The big issue is that Roberts, Kavanaugh and Barrett have allowed this to occur, siding with the liberal wing in allowing discrimination against Asians reminiscent of Korematsu.

    1. This is nothing like Korematsu.

      The HS changed from one race-neutral policy to another race-neutral policy.

  2. (OT)

    “U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn was cited for having a loaded gun at a Transportation Security Administration checkpoint at Charlotte Douglas International Airport Tuesday morning, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police said. … This is the second instance where Cawthorn has been caught with a gun at an airport.”

    Also today: “Rep. Madison Cawthorn may have violated federal insider trading laws as he hyped up an alleged pump-and-dump cryptocurrency scheme, multiple watchdog groups told the Washington Examiner.”

    The Republicans want Cawthorn primaried. “A super PAC connected to North Carolina Republican Sen. Thom Tillis spent over $300,000 in an ad campaigning against Rep. Madison Cawthorn, per Axios.” Will he spill the beans on any of them in response?

  3. Everyone seems to forget that TJ is trying to move from one race-neutral admissions standard to another. They are not trying to do affirmative action. This move will just so happen to decrease the percentage of Asian students, but it is still race neutral. They want to give automatic admissions to the one or two top students in every middle school.

  4. The Constitution provides Congress no power to mandate education.

    There is no constitutional basis for compulsory public education.

    Public school is an unconstitutional communist wealth redistribution program.

    Public schools have been commandeered by communist teachers unions.

    The state has abducted the children of private, individual Americans and incarcerated them in public schools to subject them to communist propaganda and indoctrination.

    Education must be privatized per the Constitution.

  5. In modern America, meritocracy is adulated only in the realm of sports and entertainment. Over achievement in academic subjects is viewed by many in the leftist educational bureaucracy as a symptom of White Supremist culture. Asian Americans will be facing increasing discrimination not from right wing racists but from progressive racists,

  6. The reason that so many Asians tend to have high grades in school, is their culture. The culture has high regard for studious bright kids and the support for that in Asian communities is high. Affirmative action is a way to get around that culture, and in fact is an admission that those who demand such admission, have failed their own children. And that is hurting minority communities more than anything else. High expectations of family, and community support are the real answers.

    However not every community wants to put in the time and effort to change their culture on this subject. Thus, if certain communities have cultures that do not push or expect their children to be high achievers in school studies, they should look in the mirror. and admit the problem is their own. Using skin color is no substitute for change of culture, and rather than help this country and minority children, will hurt them as well as Asians and whites.

    If this does not change, it will be Americans that will suffer and be left behind.

  7. So TJHS will become just another public school. The students will be unable to read at the appropriate level and 2+2=5. Jokism, I mean wokism what a Joke.

  8. If this isn’t stopped right now there will needs be unlimited slots set aside for each new gender created by enumerable gender dysphoric mentally disturbed individuals. Where would it end? A slot set aside for a gender non-specific furry? We are entering dangerous territory that can only be stopped with absolutes (like NO! just read the constitution).

  9. It would seem that the state government should have a say in the action here. I have seen much of the legal questions discussed here but what of remedies politically by the governor, legislature, and state attorney general. Affirmative action was useful in the past to an extent but no longer. It seems now like a cudgel to try to destroy a merit asked system. Of course, if there is a change in the US Senate and US House of Representatives, possibly there would be a federal political answer, providing you can get it past the present president. Affirmative action needs to be laid to rest once and for all.
    Maybe states should consider statewide school systems with equal funding to all and a necessary rotation of teachers through rural, suburban and city schools. Try to eliminate the disparity of resources between the richer and poorer systems. That would seem to me to be the best solution. Not sure it would be adopted. Too many headwinds. Would be interesting to see the response in liberal/progressive areas versus conservative areas if it can up for a vote. Then you might get a real view where racism and privilege really survives.

  10. What happened to Roberts: “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.” The clearly expressed purpose of the change in admissions policies was to reduce the number of whites and/or Asians and increase the number of blacks. This would appear to be unconstitutional. Yet the stay allows the school to continue the practice for another year.

    1. Daniel:
      Affirmative action case decisions are all over the map. SCOTUS loves law school discrimination based on race so it defers to their leadership. Apparently, it hates undergraduate race-based discrimination sometimes and strikes it down while lauding its value as treating black applicants “differently.” How’s that for a career-crushing euphemism? The Court is all caught up in white guilt but equally dismayed it can’t put the race discrimination genie back in the bottle. The “two wrongs make a right” logic always gets a judge in trouble. Trouble is here it got a nation in trouble and served as “proof” that America bad!. As for me, I’m with merit lover Fredrick Douglas on this one. If you want the quote, I’ll post it.

    2. The admissions process does not discriminate on the basis of race.

      If you read the policy, you’ll see that “Candidate name, race, ethnicity, or sex collected on the application form will not be provided to admissions evaluators. Each applicant will be identified to the evaluators only by an applicant number,” so it is very explicitly a race-blind admissions process.

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