New report traces anti-affirmative action support from key conservative activists

WASHINGTON, DC – Following the Supreme Court’s opinion striking down affirmative action, a new Accountable.US report released today details how conservative kingpin Leonard Leo and GOP megadonor Harlan Crow have fueled the anti-affirmative action movement.

Between 2020 and 2021, a family foundation tied to Justice Clarence Thomas’s billionaire benefactor Harlan Crow funneled over $150,000 to various groups working to eliminate affirmative action. Separately, Leonard Leo has been heavily involved in efforts to do away with affirmative action, a key racial and economic advancement program.

Report highlights:

  • Both Leonard Leo and Harlan Crow are connected to Students for Fair Admissions (SFA), the single-issue organization which sued Harvard over its affirmative action policy. Leo’s dark money group, the 85 Fund, contributed $250,000 to SFA in 2020, accounting for more than 16% of the group’s total intake of contributions that year. 
  • Harlan Crow contributed to other anti-affirmative action groups via the Trammell and Margaret Crow Foundation. Between 2020 and 2021, the charity contributed over $150,000 to two groups openly opposing affirmative action: the American Civil Rights Institute and the Institute for Justice.
  • Harlan Crow has separate close ties to the American Civil Rights Institute’s founder, who also founded the anti-tax group Club for Growth, with which Crow was heavily involved as one of the group’s most significant donors.

Read the full report HERE.

For nearly two decades, Leonard Leo has been at the center of the right-wing’s court capture campaign, stacking the federal bench with partisans working to undermine constitutional freedoms, roll back critical protections, and weaken democracy. Through the courts, Leo is enacting his radical and unpopular agenda including overturning Roe v. Wade, expanding gun rights, restricting crucial environmental protections, and now, eliminating affirmative action. 

Learn more about Leo’s extremist agenda and his influence network at


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