Rep. Ted Lieu shouts at congressional witness who points out Harvard’s racial bias against Asian Americans

by Peter Heck · Mar 26th, 2021 4:15 pm

Last Updated Mar 28th, 2021 at 9:39 pm

During a congressional hearing on Thursday, Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA) angrily shouted at a witness who broached the topic of Harvard University's anti-Asian bias in their admissions process.

While speaking with Peter Kirsanow of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Rep. Lieu was addressing what he saw as an underrepresentation of Asians in the federal judiciary, suggesting that they had been overlooked in deference to white males.

Kirsanow began to address that point by referencing the "pipeline" to the federal judiciary, legal training at prestigious Ivy League schools like Harvard.

"If there is discrimination, it's against Asian Americans," Kirsanow said, before highlighting one example he had just worked on. "Just yesterday, I filed a brief in the Students for Fair Admissions Harvard case in the Supreme Court."

Lieu shouted over the top of Kirsanow to "stop bringing in irrelevant issues."

After Lieu interrupted his original indictment of Harvard to talk at length about the underrepresentation of Asian Americans in the federal judiciary, Kirsanow tried again to agree with Lieu while pointing out one reason discrimination was happening.

"Underrepresented, definitely," Kirsanow agreed. "But underrepresented based on the fact that there has been discrimination in the pipeline that we have been talking about. Profound discrimination against Asian Americans. Without question profound discrimination."

Lieu again rejected Kirsanow's approach, saying that the expert witness was "avoiding the greater issue" of a majority-white judiciary.


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