Brief of Legal Scholars Defending Diversity in Higher Education as Amici Curiae in Support of Respondents, Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, et al. (14-981)

38 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2015

See all articles by Shakira D. Pleasant

Shakira D. Pleasant

University of Miami - School of Law

Vinay Harpalani

Savannah Law School; Drake University Law School

Date Written: November 2, 2015

Abstract

Legal Scholars Defending Diversity in Higher Education submit this brief to the U.S. Supreme Court as amici curiae in support of Respondents in Fisher v. University of Texas, et al. (14-981). Amici argue that: 1. Racial isolation in schools is a perverse and insufficient means to attain diversity in higher education, because the U.S. Supreme Court has noted that racial isolation is a compelling interest, and Texas's Top Percent Law yields racial diversity only because of such racial isolation; 2. Universities need to use holistic, race-conscious admissions policies to pursue qualitative diversity (i.e., diversity within racial groups), because qualitative diversity has educational benefits and requires individualized assessment of applicants; 3. Elimination of racial disparities, not critical mass, provides a measurable end point for race-conscious admissions, because while the compelling interest that justifies race-conscious admissions is the educational benefits of student body diversity, the need to use race to achieve such diversity is predicated on racial disparities and inequality; and 4. Less reliance on race is a constitutional virtue, not a vice, contrary to Petitioner's assertion, because small increases in racial diversity have benefits and because less reliance on race indicates a university's serious intent to eventually transition to race-neutral admissions policies.

Keywords: affirmative action, diversity, higher education, university, race-conscious, admissions

Suggested Citation

Pleasant, Shakira D. and Harpalani, Vinay, Brief of Legal Scholars Defending Diversity in Higher Education as Amici Curiae in Support of Respondents, Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, et al. (14-981) (November 2, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2685446 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2685446

Shakira D. Pleasant

University of Miami - School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 248087
Coral Gables, FL 33146
United States

Vinay Harpalani (Contact Author)

Savannah Law School ( email )

United States
2158734476 (Phone)

Drake University Law School ( email )

2507 University Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50311
United States

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