Project on Fair Representation Warns Oregon Health & Science University of Unconstitutional Racial Discrimination in New “30-30-30” Admissions Plan

AUSTIN, Texas, April 19, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Today, the Project on Fair Representation (POFR), a not-for-profit legal defense foundation that believes that racial and ethnic classifications and preferences are unconstitutional, unfair, and harmful, sent a letter warning the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) that its new “30-30-30 plan” violates the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution because it creates a racially discriminatory admissions program and imposes an illegal racial quota.

Boyden Gray & Associates, a Washington, DC-based law firm, is providing counsel to POFR. The firm’s letter to OHSU, signed by founding partner and former White House counsel C. Boyden Gray, is attached.

OHSU’s 30-30-30 plan is an educational, hiring, and admissions program developed “to help the state address the current health care workforce shortage and health care inequities that were exacerbated by COVID-19 and its disproportionate impact on underserved communities.” While POFR recognizes that this is a worthy endeavor, OHSU has also stated, going forward, it will ensure that at least 30% of its learners identify as underrepresented minorities.

As the letter explains, such racial balancing is blatantly unconstitutional. Not only is the plan’s quota system “facially invalid” under binding Supreme Court precedent, but its stated purposes are also improper. According to the OHSU website, the 30-30-30 plan is designed to “allow [OHSU] to train health care providers who better represent the racial and ethnic diversity of Oregonians, and who are prepared to provide high-quality, culturally competent care.”

As the letter explains, “The notion that the quality or cultural competence of medical care is somehow dependent on whether the caregiver is the ‘right’ race or not is nothing short of bigotry. There is nothing less inclusive or ‘culturally competent’ than the implication that what matters is a caregiver’s race, rather than his or her ability to listen, learn, and treat others with respect, dignity, and skill.”

Edward Blum, the president of POFR stated, “The 30-30-30 program will not hold up in court. Quotas that aim to achieve racial percentage outcomes violate our nation’s civil rights laws and the U.S. Constitution.”

Blum added, “It is our hope that OHSU will end the use of racial classifications and percentage quotas. Legal challenges are very likely, and, as our counsel’s letter notes, individuals at OHSU responsible for enacting and enforcing this racially discriminatory policy may be held personally liable.”

Contact: Edward Blum

SOURCE The Project on Fair Representation