Mistake in Affirmative Action Case Could Cost Harvard $15 Million
“I am a low-cost, high-volume producer in the public interest legal field,” Mr. Blum said in an interview. “No bricks, no mortar, no staff.”
Using the Yiddish term for madness, he said, “I pay $48,000 a year for this Mishegos.”
Public information about the sources of funds used to finance lawsuits filed by students for Fair Admissions is limited, and Mr. Blum would only describe the group’s donors in general terms.
“Most of our funding has come from a dozen high-net-worth individuals and maybe a dozen conservative foundations,” he said. “We have received over 5,000 individual contributions, ranging from $5 to $1,000 at times. There are some foundations that have disclosed that they have publicly supported these lawsuits. I am not going to disclose most of them.”
Mr. Blum confirmed reports in a tax filing that his group had received $1.5 million from the Donor Trust, $500,000 from the Searle Freedom Trust, and $250,000 from the Sarah Schaff Foundation. All are supporters of conservative or liberal causes.
UNC’s own lawsuit spending has exceeded $24 million as of July, according to a response to a public records request from the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal, a non-profit group that says it will seek ideas to be taught at universities. Wants to widen diversity.
“No state-appropriated or tuition dollars are being used,” UNC told the center.
Asked for clarification by The New York Times, the university issued a cryptic statement: “While all institutions classified as ordinary funding receive state appropriations and tuition, they are responsible for conducting operations, including grants, contracts, donor funds and subsidiaries.” also rely on other funding sources to support the venture.”
Legal experts said the universities’ legal fees were both substantial and surprising.
“Let’s be real: they are really huge numbers,” said Professor Baker. “But in an era when lawyers from top law firms are billing over $1,000 an hour without blinking an eye, it doesn’t take too long to reach that kind of number in a hard-fought case.”