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Group Goes Online To Find Affirmative Action Plaintiffs

A group opposed to affirmative action in higher education is taking the unprecedented step of looking for plaintiffs online.

The Project on Fair Representation is advertising for college applicants willing to challenge Harvard University, the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

When the Supreme Court issued a ruling last spring that made affirmative action programs more legally difficult to sustain, project director Edward Blum promised that more "costly and polarizing litigation" would soon be filed against university affirmative action programs across the country.

But a year later, the plaintiffs apparently had not materialized, and so the project has now launched websites dedicated to finding challengers.

The group promises to pay all expenses and notes that in its previous litigation, no college applicant had to testify or "talk to the media."

The group has litigated for more than a decade against what it deems to be unconstitutional racial classifications. Last year it won two Supreme Court decisions: the partial victory in the affirmative action case, and a total victory when the Supreme Court struck down a key section of the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Nina Totenberg is NPR's award-winning legal affairs correspondent. Her reports air regularly on NPR's critically acclaimed newsmagazines All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Weekend Edition.