ADL Hails Supreme Court Action to Uphold University of Texas Admissions Policy

Says Decision “Paves the Way” for Institutions to Foster Equal Opportunity

New York, NY, June 23, 2016 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today applauded the United States Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the University of Texas (UT) admission program, which uses race as one factor among many in selecting their students.

ADL had filed a friend of the court brief urging the Court to uphold UT’s admissions policy, emphasizing the importance of achieving and preserving diversity in institutions of higher education through constitutionally sound measures.

Marvin D. Nathan, ADL National Chair, and Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO, issued the following statement:

The Supreme Court got it exactly right by giving proper deference to UT to define the parameters of their own student body diversity and recognizing the university’s significant efforts to achieve that diversity through race-neutral alternatives. At a time when college campuses are struggling to address racism and isolation, it is critical that they remain able to foster constitutionally-sound methods to promote diversity and inclusion.

Immersion in a diverse academic community promotes critical societal needs, and we are glad that the Court explicitly recognized those educational benefits. Colleges and Universities have an obligation to promote equal educational opportunities designed to achieve a diverse student body.

This important victory makes a key distinction between unconstitutional admissions policies that impose quotas or use race as a determining factor, and legitimate holistic review processes that serve to strengthen communities and promote equality. UT did not employ an overt or a covert quota system, which we have opposed, and will continue to staunchly oppose. Rather, the Court approved UT’s unique, sustained efforts to achieve diversity in its student body.

This decision ultimately provides encouragement and paves the way for America’s educational, business, and other institutions to pursue fair and thoughtful ways of fostering equal opportunity.

ADL’s amicus brief was drafted by the law firm Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson.  The League had filed a similar brief when the Supreme Court first heard this case in its 2012 term.