Today, in Fisher v. University of Texas II, the U.S. Supreme Court once again affirmed the importance of racial diversity in our colleges and classrooms. In its second review of the case in three years, the Court had every opportunity to strike down the University’s race-conscious admissions policy. Instead, the Court accorded greater deference to universities in promoting racial diversity, and rightly so. When students from different walks of life learn with and from each other, they are better prepared for success in our increasingly diverse and interconnected world.
Fisher II is a meaningful milestone and an important win. Nonetheless, there are significant efforts underway to undermine our schools’ work to promote diversity – in academia as well as in court. At oral argument in the case, the late Justice Scalia questioned whether African-Americans were better off at “slower-track” schools that were not “too fast for them.” His remarks echoed the “Mismatch Theory” that suggests affirmative action harms students of color. Together with our pro bono allies at Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C., we were proud to submit an amicus brief in Fisher II on behalf of renowned empirical scholars who thoroughly debunked this Mismatch Theory. Likewise, with our partners at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and Arnold and Porter, we are proud to represent students who value racial diversity at Harvard College in a suit brought by the same group behind Fisher.
Our work continues, forward.