Lawsuit alleges discrimination by Texas medical schools, including TTUHSC

The lawsuit claims that each of the defendants named and nearly every medical school and university in the U.S. discriminates when admitting students.
Published: Jan. 11, 2023 at 5:27 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 11, 2023 at 10:24 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A potential class-action lawsuit filed in a Lubbock federal court accuses the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center, as well as five other medical schools in Texas, of illegally considering race and gender when considering admissions.

TTUHSC is included with five other schools named in the suit, alongside the University of Texas in Austin, University of Texas Health Science Center Houston, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

The lawsuit claims that each of the defendants named and nearly every medical school and university in the U.S. discriminates on account of race and sex when admitting students.

The plaintiff, George Stewart, who the suit indicates is a white man from Travis County, accuses the schools of violating the Constitution by unfairly using “affirmative action” practices to discriminate against applicants who he feels are more “qualified” to attend these institutions.

Using data Stewart claims to have received through open records requests, he shows the median and average GPAs and MCAT scores of admitted Black and Hispanic students at the Health Sciences Center are “significantly lower” than those of admitted white and Asian students, and that women are admitted with lower MCAT scores than men.

Stewart uses data from other universities, including the Dell Medical School at UT, the McGovern Medical School at UT HSC-Houston, and the Sealy School of Medicine at UTMB-Galveston, to correlate what he calls a “statistically significant relationship” between positive admissions and women, Black people, and Hispanic people.

At the Sealy school, its admission policies show deference is given to students from underrepresented populations in medicine and economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

Stewart, who reports he was rejected from these medical schools despite a 3.96 GPA at UT-Austin, a 511 (out of 528) score on the MCAT, and extracurricular internships and service at hospitals in Houston, San Diego, and Dallas, notes he intends to reapply to these schools, but claims the admissions policies all prevent him from competing on “equal terms” with other applicants.

Stewart claims 450 “lesser qualified minority students” were offered admission when he was rejected.

Stewart is asking a federal judge to block these admissions policies permanently and appoint a court to oversee admissions and equity departments for an unspecified amount of time.

Jonathan Mitchell, a former Texas solicitor general, is representing Stewart in this matter, as well as attorneys from the “America First Legal Foundation,” which is led by Stephen Miller, a former adviser to President Trump.

Mitchell helped craft Texas’ so-called “heartbeat bill,” which allowed private citizens to sue over abortions; Miller is also credited with crafting President Trump’s immigration policies, including family separation, a ban on immigrants from some Muslim-majority countries, and ending the DACA program.