ADL Urges Supreme Court to Support Diversity in Higher Education But Not Through Racial Preferences
New York, NY, January 15, 2003 … While recognizing the fundamental value of diversity in higher education, the Anti-Defamation League stated its opposition to the University of Michigan’s admissions programs to achieve that goal in its amicus, or “friend of the court,” brief to be filed with the United States Supreme Court. Grutter v. Bollinger concerns the constitutionality of racial preferences in the University’s undergraduate and law school admissions system. This is the first case in which the Court has revisited the issue of affirmative action in higher education since the Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (1978).
“We believe in the value of diversity in higher education, as elsewhere,” said Glen A. Tobias, ADL National Chairman, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “However, we also believe that the racial preference route the University of Michigan chose to get there is unacceptable and cannot withstand constitutional scrutiny.”
ADL’s brief argues that the University’s admissions programs in question involve an unconstitutional use of race to achieve their ultimate goal of a diversified student population, but urged the Court to nevertheless recognize the fundamental value of diversity in higher education.
“People must be judged as individuals, not as members of group,” said Mr. Tobias and Mr. Foxman. “This principle is too important to compromise, even where, as in this case, the University is acting with the best possible intentions to achieve a more diverse student body. We believe that goal can be achieved in ways that do not require race-based decision making.”
The brief was prepared by ADL National Legal Affairs Chairman, Martin E. Karlinsky, of Katten Muchin Zavis Rosenman’s New York City office.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.