‘Racial Litmus Test’: Kansas State University Hit With Civil Rights Complaint For Allegedly Discriminatory Scholarship

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Kansas State University (KSU) was hit with a civil rights complaint Wednesday for a scholarship program that allegedly discriminates based on race.

The Legal Insurrection Foundation’s Equal Protection Project filed a complaint with the U. S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights over the university’s Joey Lee Garmon Scholarship, which is designed for applicants “of an ethnic group that has been historically and traditionally oppressed in the achievement of academic and leadership endeavors,” according to the school’s website. The scholarship description says it seeks to include students “of African American, American Indian, Asian American, and Latinx American heritage.”

“It violates Title VI for a recipient of federal money to create, support and promote a racially segregated program,” the complaint alleges. “When a public institution does so, such conduct also violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.” (RELATED: Law School Org Hosts Conference On How To Keep Racially Discriminating In Admissions)

Proponents of affirmative action hold signs during a protest at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on July 1, 2023. The US Supreme Court on June 27 banned the use of race and ethnicity in university admissions, dealing a major blow to a decades-old practice that boosted educational opportunities for African-Americans and other minorities. (Photo by Joseph Prezioso / AFP) (Photo by JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images)

Proponents of affirmative action hold signs during a protest at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on July 1, 2023.  (Photo by JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images)

Cornell Law School Professor William A. Jacobson, founder of, said in a statement provided to the Daily Caller News Foundation that KSU “apparently did not get the message of the Supreme Court’s recent affirmative action ruling.”

“Erecting barriers to access based on race and ethnicity is a constitutional and legal harm,” Jacobson said. “There undoubtedly are students who will not bother to apply because they have the wrong skin color or ancestry. KSU not only needs to drop the racial litmus test, but also promote the fact that it is doing so.”

The Equal Protection Project previously filed civil rights complaints alleging programs at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo, SUNY Buffalo’s School of Law and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln violated the law by using racial preferences.

KSU told the DCNF it has not received a complaint regarding the scholarship.

“If we do, the university will respond appropriately,” a spokesperson told the DCNF.

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