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AAMC Statement on Department of Justice Lawsuit Challenging Yale University Admissions

October 9, 2020

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MEDIA CONTACTS
John Buarotti, Sr. Media Relations Specialist

AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) Chief Legal Officer Frank R. Trinity, JD, and AAMC President and CEO David J. Skorton, MD, issued the following statement on the Department of Justice lawsuit challenging Yale University’s undergraduate admissions process:

“The Department of Justice’s (DOJ) lawsuit challenging Yale University’s undergraduate admissions process appears to be a misguided rush to judgment, relying on a hastily-concluded investigation and a mis-reading of Supreme Court precedent. DOJ’s belief that the racial breakdown of admitted students must correspond to the racial breakdown of applicants is not the law of the land and would constitute impermissible racial balancing. Asking for a permanent injunction that would bar Yale from using race as a factor in future admissions decisions goes well beyond current law, as the Supreme Court has repeatedly permitted the use of race as a factor in admissions.

The AAMC has long supported and will continue to support Supreme Court-approved individualized holistic review, which considers each applicant as a whole person rather than as a one-dimensional composite of a grade point average and standardized test score. Medical schools, in selecting future physicians to care for an increasingly diverse country, consider a wide range of pre-professional competencies, including service orientation, interpersonal communication skills, cultural competence, leadership, resilience, adaptability, and teamwork. A person’s life experiences provide important context for these competencies. The relief sought in this case will mean unfairly disregarding a significant part of some applicants’ life experiences.

The DOJ complaint against Yale is an example of overstatement and overreach, and we expect it to suffer the same fate as the unsuccessful challenges to the undergraduate admissions policies of University of Texas-Austin and Harvard University.”

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The AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) is a not-for-profit association dedicated to transforming health through medical education, health care, medical research, and community collaborations. Its members are all 155 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; more than 400 teaching hospitals and health systems, including Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and more than 70 academic societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC leads and serves America’s medical schools and teaching hospitals and their more than 179,000 full-time faculty members, 92,000 medical students, 140,000 resident physicians, and 60,000 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the biomedical sciences.