Posted on January 18, 2024

These Medical Schools Plotted Loophole for Race-Based Admissions After Supreme Court Affirmative Action Ban

Breccan F. Theis, Washington Examiner, January 17, 2024

In the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision blocking race-based admissions at colleges and universitiesmedical school faculty at multiple institutions tried to find ways to circumvent the ruling, records show.

Documents obtained through a public records request made by medical advocacy group Do No Harm and obtained by the Washington Examiner show plans by faculty to maintain a diversity, equity, and inclusion, or DEI, focus in admissions while still technically abiding by Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard.


In the days after the Supreme Court decided the affirmative action case, faculty at the University of Houston College of Medicine sought to work with a legal team to find ways to advance affirmative action in healthcare within the framework of the decision. The medical school also held a joint event with the university’s law school in which they highlighted DEI in healthcare and described avenues left open by the Supreme Court’s ruling to achieve diversity goals.

“The Supreme Court’s decision on affirmative action may have a big impact on efforts among colleges and universities to reduce health disparities by increasing the diversity of the healthcare workforce,” Jessica Mantel, University of Houston law professor and co-director of the Health and Public Policy Institute, said in a July 5, 2023, correspondence regarding the creation of the joint event, only six days after SFFA was decided.

Mantel included possible topics of discussion, such as “how affirmative action in higher education has promoted greater diversity in the healthcare workforce” and “whether the new affirmative action legal doctrine announced by the Supreme Court permits consideration of race and ethnicity in admissions to higher educational programs preparing the future healthcare workforce.”

The email also appears to promote a theory called “racial concordance,” which is a controversial theory that claims better health outcomes are achieved when doctors are the same race as their patients.

The event would therefore “explain how diversifying the healthcare workforce can reduce disparities in health, including a discussion of any empirical studies supporting this” and “discuss whether it would be helpful for researchers to conduct additional research into whether and how diversifying the healthcare workforce reduces health disparities.”


Senior faculty at the University of Toldeo also lamented the Supreme Court’s decision in SFFA, with the school’s vice president for DEI, Dilip Das, writing days after the decision to College of Medicine and Life Sciences Dean Christopher J. Cooper {snip}


Cooper responded by saying he had a meeting with a legal team about how to adapt to the new ruling and noted an assistant dean who could help with DEI ideology {snip}

Das went on to suggest looking at the legal strategies of California and Michigan to achieve loopholes for affirmative action, as both states have had bans on the practice for years.