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BOSTON – A federal appeals court on Wednesday will consider whether Harvard University discriminates against Asian-American applicants in a closely-watched case that could impact whether U.S. colleges can use race as a factor in admissions.

The group sued Harvard in 2014, claiming it illegally engages in “racial balancing” that artificially limits the number of Asian-American students at the Ivy League school.

Harvard denies the allegation and says it is legally promoting student body diversity in keeping with Supreme Court precedent.

She cited decades of U.S. Supreme Court rulings that allow universities to consider race as one factor to remedy disadvantages minority students have faced because of racial prejudice.

Blum said he is prepared if necessary to appeal to the Supreme Court, whose makeup has changed since it last reviewed the issue.

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