Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs Statement Regarding the US Supreme Court Decision on Race-Conscious Admissions

WASHINGTON – In response to the US Supreme Court declaring the race-conscious admission programs at Harvard College and University of North Carolina unconstitutional, Joanne Lin, executive director of the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, issued the following statement.

“The Supreme Court today greatly diminished colleges’ ability to select a diverse student body. The conservative majority broke the promise of the 1954 Brown decision and DISCARDED over 50 years of precedent and progress to ensure equal educational opportunity for all and to redress centuries of inequities in higher education.

As Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson noted in her dissent, ‘Deeming race irrelevant in law does not make it so in life.’ This decision is devastating for students of color who already face systemic barriers to equitable education.

“Racial equity and diversity in higher education are critical to achieving a thriving multiracial democracy. Equal and fair access to educational institutions for students of color benefits all students. As Justice Sonia Sotomayor asserted in her dissent ‘notwithstanding this Court’s actions, however, society’s progress toward equality cannot be permanently halted.’

“The Washington Lawyers’ Committee will keep fighting for diverse inclusive colleges and for educational opportunity for all.”

Link to case: https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/22pdf/20-1199_hgdj.pdf

Link to amicus brief: https://www.washlaw.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/20-1199-21-707-bsac-ECRA-Accessible.pdf

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