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Judge: Lawsuit claiming Harvard Law Review is biased against white males would be laughed out of moot court, never mind federal court

A federal judge today dismissed a lawsuit against Harvard and the Harvard Law Review by groups that claim they want to restore "meritocracy" to American higher education because their suit failed to provide the most minimal of details that even a first-year law student should have included.

Still, US District Court Judge Leo Sorokin dismissed the lawsuit by two Texas-based groups - Faculty, Alumni, and Students Opposed to Racial Preferences and the Coalition for Meritocracy at Universities - without prejudice, which means they have 30 days to ask him for permission to file an amended complaint that somehow answers his fairly withering criticisms, in particular what he said was their initial complaint's failure to name, or at least profile, even a single person who had actually been harmed by the law review's alleged discrimination.

That lack of "standing," or proof that an actual person has actually been harmed, proved to be the lawsuit's key failing, Sorokin wrote in his ruling today. Sorokin agreed with Harvard and the law review that simply stating that members of the groups include white students who plan to submit articles even though they know they face rejection because they are translucent and male isn't a good enough argument for a federal court case.

Sorokin compared the groups' filing unfavorably with the filings of another group suing Harvard over alleged admissions discrimination. At least that group could point to specific people it claims were harmed by the way Harvard determines whom to admit, Sorokin wrote. But in the case before him:

The plaintiffs have not supplied "reasonably definite factual allegations" identifying any of their members - information readily and uniquely available to the plaintiffs; this failure dooms the Amended Complaint. ...

Their failure to supply even the slightest description of any member who might satisfy the prerequisites for standing [under the constitution] - including concrete and particularized, actual or imminent injury redressable by a favorable decision in this case - requires dismissal of the Amended Complaint in its entirety.

Sorokin could have ended his ruling there, but said he "deems it prudent" to knock down the groups' other arguments before they waste any further time trying to incorporate them into a new complaint.

He said the groups failed to cite any specific examples of actual discrimination by the law review, either in how it selects students to work on it or how it selects which articles to publish. Asking prospective law-review students what their gender and race are by itself does not prove anybody was discriminated against, he wrote.

Further, just as the plaintiffs have made no attempt to describe HLRA’s article-selection practices, the Amended Complaint likewise contains no facts—let alone sufficient facts - to illuminate the conclusory assertion that HLS ("along with nearly every law school in the United States") discriminates on the basis of gender and race when hiring faculty.

He added the groups also failed to prove that the law review takes federal money that would subject it to federal anti-discrimination laws; the fact that some students might be receiving federal student aid is not enough. Ditto for Harvard, because the anti-discrimination law the group cited in complaining about the school relates specifically to "employment" and students working on the law review are not "employees" in the way the law defines the term, he wrote.

PDF icon Complete ruling90.72 KB


Will Harvard Law ever tell if Elizabeth Warren was the lone "woman of color" deceptively listed in federal affirmative action reports during her years there? I'm not sure if the legal statute of limitations has expired but the moral obligation is forever. When did they realize Warren was white and that they had lied on the federal forms to satisfy regulators?

While Warren is still struggling to come up with a plausible explanation for misappropriating the minority heritage of others, Harvard Law has never made much effort to explain, never mind apologize, for their role in the deception and whether they knowingly listed a white person as a person of color. I'm confident hopeful that the neutral media will get around to asking questions. If not, the US Attorney should.


I've heard this one enough.

Also: When, exactly, did conservatives become so concerned about offending minorities?


All conservatives are racists in your narrow mind, huh? The South is full of racists and all conservatives are bigots. Tell me more!


not all conservatives are racist but — well, i’m sure you can finish this sentence.


All conservatives are racists in your narrow mind, huh?

Wow, you can read minds? Why are you wasting your time posting to this news blog when the police have so many unsolved crimes on their books?


This post is incredibly dishonest. No crime was committed, so there is no "legal statute of limitations". All of the questions you're pretending to ask while really making a political point have been answered, publicly and repeatedly. You can Google them yourself, if you're actually interested, which you aren't.


Remind us what percentage of Native American Warren’s DNA test revealed. Do you think that is fair to constitute her as being Native American? You would know so I’m asking.


Like Fishy, those of us who worked for Harvard have told you time and again and over again how that system works with the ethnicity survey. That you choose not to listen speaks volumes about why you would never attend school or work there.

Then again, Liz Warren had NOTHING to do with any of this.

Remember folks: WHATABOUTISM is for school-age children!


Elizabeth Warren's (alleged) Native American heritage was not a factor in things, except when it was.


This is about a bunch of Texans suing the Harvard Law Review.

Please - try to stay on topic!

Nevermind that this juvenile whataboutism couldn't even save a seat for a sitting senator ... because nobody with a brain cares.


All the comments above this, and several below, and your comment I replied to, were related to Elizabeth Warren’s onetime claim of Native American heritage. I do believe you meant to reply to that comment. Yesterday.

But hey, if you can’t win the argument, pretend you aren’t a part of it. Amiright?

I mean, the Texans have no standing, but Fish hooked on to Warren to talk about Harvard Law and race. Why did you decide that this was a good tangent to prolong?

I’m rubber, you’re glue!

- Waquiot

I'm just responding to the girl in pigtails who is stomping out of the room saying "no one mentioned Elizabeth Warren!" Why are you talking about her!?"

article that Waguoit loves to cite endlessly is nothing more than speculation and written by the most transparent kind of partisan right-wing hack.

Right-wingers can never make an argument without resorting to this kind of bogus "journalism". Reality and its stubborn liberal bias: it's just better to ignore it and quote some dude (like Ted Cruz's former finance chairman) making shit up.


Honestly, I googled “Elizabeth Warren Crimson” looking for the appropriate article from the 1990s where Harvard Law highlights Warren as Native American to show faculty diversity. Sure enough, the article linked is by a conservative hack, but the facts are there. I could once again track down the Crimson article, and then you could, what, claim it never happened? Denial of historical facts is something I frown upon.

Dude those DNA tests are barely scientific and more useful for building a giant database for law enforcement (and, some day soon, health insurance companies) to dig even deeper into the average person's life. The markers they're using to align to ethnicity are shaky and the whole idea of needing to verify you're 4% whateverthe fuck in order to alleviate your perceived lack of identity due to your identity, in fact, being so homogenized that it IS THE CULTURE, is classic White People Shit. South Park had this one right.


And in the 2 or so years since taking it my "ancestry" has CHANGED 3 times already.

I'm inclined to believe that the entire consumer-level over-the-counter dna market is a small step up from horoscopes at this point.

Also having no faith whatsoever in big business, I am fully vested in the idea that there are somewhat sinister intentions behind it to monetize our genetic code not dissimilar to Facebook monetizing every single data point in our private lives.


And shut up already?

You have been told by people who work at Harvard how this works. There have been investigations.

Will you ever just eat a bunch of prunes and take a big dump and not be so full of sewerage?


The 24 women who have accused Trump of sexual misconduct.

What does this have to do with the Harvard Law Review? Beats me, but it's at least as relevant as some non-story about Elizabeth Warren.


People who keep bringing this up surely are embarrassed that this is the worst thing they could find that Elizabeth Warren ever did that had the least tinge of a lapse of judgment and yet they keep flogging it. That dog don't hunt. That bat don't flap. That mule is dead dead dead.



complete waste of money and effort, but the symbol of a woman who thinks government is the first solution to everything when it should always be the last resort. There is VERY little the government does better than the next best alternative. National defense, well, and not much else.


is there any particular reason that a nationalized militia gets a pass here?

or do you think maybe you’re conditioned to make exceptions for massive warmongering expenditures that make it nigh impossible to accomplish anything meaningful at a government level?


I can't for the life of me imagine how you privatize national defense, but pretty much everything else government does can be done better or already is done better by the private sector.


show your work, Stevil

explain HOW the cfpb is a waste of money?


"complete waste of money."

This would be like if I had suddenly jumped into a conversation on Quantum Physics and authoritatively declaring that it's complete nonsense.

You quite literally have no idea of what you speak.

I'm not going to argue, it's a waste of my time and any amount of facts will only reinforce your incorrect assumption.

This countries always had a vein of proud ignorance running deep inside it. However we now have an orange felon occupying the White House who's giving credence to this pure stupidity.

Wave that flag high, Stevil.

If nothing else, it's a warning to the rest of us to avoid you.


Good job Stevil, you picked one of the most sensible things this government did in the wake of the financial crisis. I guess that's why you hate it so much?

Lets recap what happened:
In the wake of the 2007-08 international economic crisis started by an unscrupulous financial industry offering sub-prime loans to literally anyone off the street and then bundling those loans and packaging them as low risk investments, a crisis that cost the American taxpayers billions of dollars:

Elizabeth Warren: We need to create a government agency to protect people from being bilked by unscrupulous banks, credit card companies, pay-day loans, etc... because "the market" sure isn't doing it.

Stevil: Complete waste of money and effort. Screw those people.

Republican party: Stevil is right! We need to do everything in our power to stop the CFPB from functioning, including frivolous law suits, pulling a McConnell and refusing to confirm a director, trying to defund it, passing laws to exempt banks from its regulations, and ultimately appointing corrupt vandals to lead the office they hate. Just like what's going at the EPA, USDA and countless other organizations meant to protect the American people.


Were supportive of the CFPB and the ELEVEN BILLION DOLLARS it returned to hard working Americans who were harmed by illegal banking practices.

Then Trump came to town.


Where do I begin explaining financial regulations to people that have no clue. Do you have any idea how many regulatory organizations oversee these businesses to begin with? Warren's answer to people doing a crappy job regulating was "let's create another organization" outside the purview of congress or really any oversight and give them free reign to just make up new rules and issue fines for the low price of half a billion dollars a year. Eight years in the net benefit to the American public is about 7 billion dollars or roughly $225 per consumer that has received some compensation at best. However, when you add in the billions of dollars in cost to the organizations that they now pass on to their customers, the net benefit is probably less than zero. Great job.

Stevil, it’s interesting you’re quoting the exact same argument the NRA uses to fight new regulations, “Duh, Why don’t they just enforce existing laws?”
None of the existing regulatory bodies focused on protecting the American consumer, that’s why the CFPB was founded, and why the corrupt financial industry and their buddies in the Republican Party gutted it. But, in general, your industry could give a sh*t about people getting screwed over, as long as you make your money. It’s always “buyer beware” in your world, as if everyone on the street is as big a financial expert as you claim to be.

And check back in. Nobody to protect the consumer?

There's a giant alphabet soup of agencies and organizations designed to collectively do just that. The CFPB was a knee jerk political reaction that was engineered around the system of checks and balances of the legal system which is what allowed it to run amok under Obama and why it can now be strangled by Trump. If we had done it right, it wouldn't be a toy if yhe president, we'd have the protections it offers and we wouldn't be losing those protections because there is an R after the guy's name in the WH.

not saying it's all bad, just a horrible example of government overreach and bureacratic bungling in the interest of political expediency designed by a moron that has spent her life in an ivory tower, not the real world.

That she literally wrote the book on bankruptcy, right?

It cracks me up when your mask slips.

...hHow? What does bankruptcy have to do with financial regulation (especially since one of her principal findings was that a large number of bankruptcies were caused by medical expenses, not financial mismanagement?)

Where were you from 2000-2008 when the financial industry was screwing the nation? Who was protecting consumers?

Do you really know what happened? How did consumers get screwed (en masse) and more importantly, what did that have to do with what almost took down the global banking system? And you do realize that the biggest problem was stuff going on in London? How does ANY regulation prevent that?

It’s not really up for debate dude. Read a book.

And they'd all tell you that other than some garden variety of BS, the financial crisis had little to do with consumers and a lot to do with systemic failure on an institutional basis, much of which was going on in places like London and Reykjavik far from the watchful eyes of US regulators and even further outsude their jurisdiction. But your story sounds better for people that have no idea how the technical side of this works.

Having this discussion with you is the equivalent of JD Martinez telling me the physiology and statustical advantage of changing his swing plane a couple degrees to prioritize home runs over a few extra strikeouts and me trying to tell him he's clueless.

You're a major leaguer, alright, one of the best in the world! Or maybe you're a standard-issue internet warrior bragging about how smart he is, but somehow unable to admit what is right in front of his eyes because it interferes with his anti-government point of view.

Well let's say you ARE right, "JD." All those unregulated, predatory sub-prime mortgages at the heart of the crisis that forced millions of people into financial ruin were just situation normal. Coulda happened to any law-abidin' business, and it's really those damn Icelanders who are to blame, not the good ol' American financial sector where those mortgages were signed (or heh heh, you know, robo-signed, who's keepin' track?) In FACT we should just let it keep happening, I mean we taxpayers can easily bail out the banks again, amirite?

You know, "JD," maybe it really is that Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren, specialist in consumer finance, who's the one who's sooo stupid for doing something tangible and trying to protect people from the predatory financial industry...Maybe it's not you burying your head in the sand.

Which do you think is more likely, "JD"?

You have no clue what you are talking about. Sub-prime mortgages were little more than kindling that led to a nuclear melt-down. If you don't even understand that much, you don't belong in this conversation. Please take your own advice and read a book on what really happened.

The CFPB has almost nothing to do with solving the problems of the financial crisis (all of us were unfortunately collateral damage in a situation that came literally within minutes of collapsing the entire global banking system, and not just people with sub-prime mortgages).

Not arguing the CFPB rules are good or bad - probably a mix of both. But there is no question that it is a) outrageously inefficient at what it does and b) a marginally constitutional entity designed to put incredible power in the hands of one person without congressional oversight and c) could have been placed under any number of other regulatory entities

Move it under Congress rather than the executive branch - do it more cost effectively - and THEN get back to me about how smart or stupid Elizabeth Warren is.

(I have no idea about her intelligence -but I do give her credit as a master opportunist - and if the Dems are stupid enough to nominate her - say hello to Trump 2.0 because she scares the crap out of American moderates who will ultimately determine the election in about 6 states).

First you said nobody really got screwed during the financial crises, now it's the unregulated sub-prime mortgages were little more than "kindling." Even using your attempted belittling of what STARTED the crisis, does a fire start without kindling? Maybe we should call the subprime market the spark? The tinder? Doesn't a fire start without that stuff? You just can't keep your story straight, JD.

Not only that, you've went from the CFPB was the worst thing Warren ever did to... it's "probably a mix of good and bad," that "could have been placed under any number of other entities"...entities that, lets remember, didn't do the job because they were easily captured by Wall Street. The CFPB was isolated as much as possible to prevent this regulatory capture, something you are apparently too naive to understand?

Finally, it shows the sign of a weak argument for you to continue to attempt to bully and pretend that anyone who disagrees with you is unable to understand the issues here. Seems like you're more Chris Davis than JD Martinez.

You exaggerate. Chris Davis plays ball well enough to get into the major leagues. Stevil is more like a fat rando who plays slow-pitch softball on weekends, and then goes the bar to shout about how he can play better than that guy on the TV.

Now you are putting words in my mouth, common on UH when someone has lost an argument.

Not my fault you didn't do your homework.

(for one - there's this thing called the Bureau of Consumer Protection already that had little or nothing to do with the financial crisis - why isn't the CFPB just part of that? You can't sidestep the constitution just because it's illegal - and wrangle yourself a budget that's 3-4 times the size of the existing organization you should be part of).

Government agency cracking down on fraud and abuse in financial profession is a bad thing.

Next up: foxes say chicken wire completely overrated.


I literally wrote a book about the crap that goes on in the financial services industry? And that's the stuff that's legal (but shouldn't be).

Regulation is fine - per my note above - creating an entire new bureaucracy when you could have just accomplished this through existing organizations would have been more than sufficient.

You keep mentioning it and apparently some other death of information about the 07-08 crash that's supposedly common knowledge that you use to cudgel others, but don't actually point to where they should be looking.

Quit being coy and cite your sources.

Wow you really got her with that one. How will she ever recover



I read an interesting article the other day.

It made me wonder to what degree the hate-boners unlettered dimwits like Oafish-L have for Warren have to do with her being a teacher.


Therefore Republicans hate her

She represents the potential for our nation, a pleace where people don't die from lack of medicine or from lead in their tap water while a few dozen citizens make more money than everyone else combined.

Where banks can't lie, cheat, and steal with the nation's money and expect to be bailed out on the backs of hard working Americans.

She's highly intelligent, has actual policy standing by to be implemented, and for the middle Americans who have been listening to her, instead of just screaming "MAGA" into the void are coming away from it......REALLY liking her.

She's strong, smart and that scares Safety Officer Fish.

And Safety Officer Fishy does not like being scared.


Just say whatever Howie says


Wow you really got her with that one. How will she ever recover

You know what they should do? If they really want to hurt her politically, they should come up with some nickname that references a well-known American Indian figure, and maybe tweak the name so that it becomes a pun.

Once that gets out there, she'll never get elected dogcatcher, and it would have the added bonus of demonstrating how exactly how much conservatives really care about offending minorities.


White man dresses in blackface/Indian headdress/etc. for Halloween.
Conservatives: What are you so upset about? Just relax.

White woman checks a checkbox based on what she's been told by her family for her entire life.
Conservatives: sHE is mIsApprOPriaTinG mInORIty hEriTAge!!1!11


The idea that Harvard was ever a meritocratic institution, rather than a finishing school for the children of our corrupt elites, one that routinely churns out some of the worst people in American public life...

These guys just want to restore/maintain *that* version of affirmative action.


...I can see why they never published anything in the Harvard Law Review.


I hereby speak for all of us when I say, "go fuck yourselves, Texas Republican hacks who can't even file a proper amicus brief."


Magoo will be forever grateful to Pater and Mumsy that got Magoo into Magoo’s Harvard. Magoo.

You hangin' out with Gog again?


Magoo who r u? R u blue?

this one really writes itself. good god, white dudes, adjust, it's been like 40 years.