News Release

Supreme Court Attack on Affirmative Action: The Irony of Clyde Ferguson


Boyle is a professor of law at the University of Illinois. His books include Tackling America’s Toughest Questions. He notes the irony of the Supreme Court targeting Harvard’s affirmative action program while the Harvard-based scholar Clyde Ferguson, his mentor, conceived of affirmative action. Boyle said today: “Of course, I fully support the Harvard affirmative action program. It is a shame and a disgrace what is going to happen here by the end of June when the case comes down terminating affirmative action.”

In 2019, Boyle warned that the Supreme Court was going to use the Harvard case to overturn affirmative action: “Obviously, this Harvard case has been deliberately and maliciously set up in order to bring affirmative action to the U.S. Supreme Court where the plaintiffs expect” the Federalist Society backed members to overturn it.
Boyle has been warning of the power of the Federalist Society for over 20 years. Boyle told the Guardian in 2018: “I think Kavanaugh was put on there to ensure Roe is overturned.”

On Monday, CNN reported, “John Roberts skewers Harvard attorney.”

Boyle wrote in 2019: “Roberts will probably administer the coup de gras to affirmative action in the Harvard Case — that’s gratitude for you!” (Roberts went to Harvard Law).

He continued: “If so, this shall prove to be one of the greatest tragic ironies in the history of American jurisprudence, constitutional law, and international human rights law. Affirmative action was the brainchild of my teacher, mentor and friend, the late, great Clyde Ferguson, who was the first tenured African American full professor of law at Harvard Law School. … So I studied affirmative action with its very progenitor, Clyde.

“Prior to joining the HLS faculty, Clyde had negotiated the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination on behalf of the United States government.  Clyde included affirmative action right there in article 1(4) of the Convention. The U.S. government is a contracting party to this Convention. So no matter what” the Supreme Court Federalist Society members “do to affirmative action, it shall remain a binding international law obligation of the United States government.”

See video clip: “Clyde Ferguson, President Nixon’s Envoy, Speaks of Indiscriminate Bombing In Biafra | March 1969” about fighting in Nigeria.