EJS Applauds Supreme Court Decision in Fisher Upholding Race-Conscious Admissions Policy

Amicus brief by EJS, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, and Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society argued that UT-Austin’s admission policy should be allowed to consider race

The Equal Justice Society applauds today’s decision by the Supreme Court in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin upholding the university’s race-conscious admissions policy.

In a 4-3 decision, the Court held that carefully crafted admissions policies that consider racial diversity as one factor in creating a well-rounded student body are constitutional under the Equal Protection Clause.

The Supreme Court handed down its decision in Fisher on the 13th anniversary of its decision in another landmark case, Grutter v. Bollinger (June 23, 2003), which upheld the University of Michigan Law School’s race-conscious admissions policy.

Today’s decision is good news for all Americans. The Court ruled in favor of equal opportunity in higher education and recognized that schools must remain able to create diverse and inclusive student bodies.

It’s in our country’s best interest that talented students from a variety of backgrounds get a fair chance at overcoming obstacles to higher education. Providing a diverse learning environment benefits students, our workforce, and the country as a whole.

UT’s plan is one that was carefully crafted to meet the goal of ensuring the educational benefits of diversity on its campus. America’s educational, business, and other institutions should be pursing fair and thoughtful ways of fostering diverse participation.

In November 2015, 35 prominent social scientists filed an amicus brief with legal counsel Eva Paterson and Allison S. Elgart of the Equal Justice Society; a team of attorneys from Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati that included David J. Berger, Lisa A. Davis, Luke A. Liss, and David A. Brown; and john a. powell and Stephen Menendian of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society at the University of California, Berkeley. The Equal Justice Society legal team also included Christopher Bridges, Alynia Phillips, and Kyle Kate Dudley.

The amici wrote that the admissions policy at the University of Texas at Austin must continue to consider race, or the “educational experience of all students on campus will be diminished.” Considering race within a broader and holistic admissions policy is the only effective and efficient way for UT Austin to promote equal educational opportunity for all students.


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