Virginia AG leads 15 other states in asking Supreme Court to stop race-based high school admissions policy

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Virginia’s attorney general announced Tuesday he will be joining 15 other states in demanding the Supreme Court put an end to the race-based admissions policy at an elite public high school in Fairfax. 

Virginia Attorney General Jason S. Miyares, a Republican, is leading the emergency application asking the U.S. Supreme Court to halt what he describes as a “discriminatory” and “illegal” admissions process designed to dramatically reduce the number of Asian American students who attend Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJ) in Fairfax, Va. 70% of the student body is Asian American. 

According to the amicus brief, up until last year, the school used a merit-based admissions process to select students, but then switched to a race-based process meant as part of an “illegal effort” to align the magnet school’s student body with the racial composition of the surrounding region. 


“Right now, there are innocent Virginians unfairly treated and punished not for anything they’ve done, but because of who they are,” Miyares said in a statement. “Thomas Jefferson High School’s new admissions process is state sanctioned bigotry – it’s wrong, and it’s the exact opposite of equality. As Attorney General, I’ll never stop fighting for the equal treatment and protection of all Virginians.” 

This photo shows Fairfax County Public Schools Monday, March 4, 2019, in Merrifield, Va. 

This photo shows Fairfax County Public Schools Monday, March 4, 2019, in Merrifield, Va. 
(AP Photo/Matthew Barakat)

U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton ruled in February that the new admissions policy was a discriminatory act of “racial balancing” and issued an injunction ordering the Fairfax County School Board to stop using the policy immediately. But at the end of March, a three-judge 4th Circuit appeals panel decided the board could temporarily continue to use the race-based admissions policy. 

On behalf of a coalition of community members, parents and alumni, known as “Coalition for TJ,” Miyares filed an emergency request to the Supreme Court to vacate the stay pending appeal issued by the 4th Circuit. It was also signed by Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia.

Fox 5 DC previously reported that U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts on Friday called for a response from Fairfax County Public Schools, which has until Wednesday to present its arguments.


Fox News Digital also reported that in a separate but related case, a judge on Friday dismissed criminal charges of slander and libel against one parent at the high school in connection to heated debates that had been occurring at PTSA meetings and within the community over the race-based admissions policy. The father, Dr. Harry Jackson, had expressed concern about a liberal activist allegedly “grooming” the high school senior student government leader and other minors by pursuing meetings and other bicycling outings without parents present. 

The activist, Jorge Torrico, denied the allegations and instead reported Jackson’s November 2020 tweets to Steve Descano, a Democratic prosecutor reportedly backed by billionaire George Soros. 


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