The federal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas in Lubbock asserts that the medical schools “discriminate on account of race and sex when admitting students by giving discriminatory preferences to females and non-Asian minorities, and by discriminating against whites, Asians, and men.”
Characterizing the schools’ admissions policies as affirmative action, it argues that the policies “allow applicants with inferior academic credentials to obtain admission at the expense of rejected candidates with better academic credentials.”
Plaintiff George Stewart applied to six medical schools after graduating from the University of Texas with a 3.96 grade point average (GPA) in Biology, scoring a 511 on the medical school entrance exam MCAT, and gaining volunteer experience in medical facilities.
For two years he applied to Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center; Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin; McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston; John Sealy School of Medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston; Long School of Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio; and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
After being rejected by all, Stewart sought admissions data through an open records request to find out the GPA, MCAT score, race, and sex of all applicants in the 2021-22 application cycle.
According to his court filing, the GPA and MCAT scores of admitted black and Hispanic students were lower than those of white and Asian students.
The plaintiff also claims that statistics he gathered show that female students were admitted at some of the medical schools even though they had lower MCAT scores than male applicants.
“Unfortunately, he was denied [admission] while over 450 lesser qualified minority students, ranging as low as a GPA of 2.82 and an MCAT of 495, were offered admission,” the court documents state.
While Stewart plans to reapply, he believes that the patterns he discovered “prevent [him] from competing on equal terms with other applicants for admission to these medical schools because [he] is a white male.”
Stewart, who is represented by the conservative defense fund America First Legal (AFL), is seeking certification as a class action on behalf of those similarly situated. He is also asking the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas in Lubbock to issue a permanent injunction against these medical schools, preventing them from considering race or sex in student admissions.
“Decisions about who gets to be a doctor — with power over life and death — should be made based solely on merit,” AFL President Stephen Miller said in a press statement. “We are suing six medical schools for illegal racial discrimination: denying entry to qualified applicants solely because they are the ’wrong’ race. AFL will not stand for it.”
The claims are brought under Title VI, Title IX, 42 U.S. Code §1981, and the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
Title VI prohibits “all forms of racial discrimination at institutions that receive federal funds,” Title IX prohibits sex discrimination, and §1981 prohibits discrimination based on race in making contracts.
The U.S. Supreme Court is currently considering two cases, one against Harvard University and one against the University of North Carolina, challenging the use of race in college admissions. The court heard oral arguments in October but has not yet released its decisions.
In 2003, the court held in Grutter v. Bollinger that institutions of higher education could use race in a narrow way to contribute to diversity. The court ruled similarly in 2016 in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin.
The plaintiff specifically asked the court in his complaint to overrule Grutter and Fisher.
Medical school admissions were at issue in the Regents of the University of California v. Bakke decision in 1978. The Supreme Court held then that a racial quota system violated the Equal Protection Clause and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
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Kim Roberts is a regional reporter for the Texan in the DFW metroplex area where she has lived for over twenty years. She has a Juris Doctor from Baylor University Law School and a Bachelor's in government from Angelo State University. In her free time, Kim home schools her daughter and coaches high school extemporaneous speaking and apologetics. She has been happily married to her husband for 23 years, has three wonderful children, and two dogs.