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Outpouring of U.S. Supreme Court Amicus Briefs Filed in Support of Diversity in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The U.S. Supreme Court received an avalanche of 73 amici or “friend of the court” briefs supporting diversity in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin. The briefs came from 37 high-ranking retired military and defense officials (including three former chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff—General Colin L. Powell, Admiral Michael G. Mullen and General Henry H. Shelton), 57 leading corporations, the United Statesorganizations representing students from diverse backgrounds, 444 prominent social scientists, the Anti-Defamation League, a large number of educational associations, and over 100 colleges and universities. The institutions of higher education range from public flagship schools (e.g., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the President and Chancellors of the University of California) to eight Catholic universities (e.g., Fordham, Georgetown, Notre Dame) to 37 private liberal arts colleges (e.g., Amherst, Oberlin, Wesleyan) and all of the Ivy League schools.  Additional briefs were filed by, among others, small business owners, 17 U.S. Senators, the National League of Cities, California and other states, major religious denominations, labor unions, the College Board, Teach for America, and civil and human rights organizations (e.g., the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Latino organizations, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Asian American Center for Advancing Justice, National Women’s Law Center, Leadership Conference for Civil and Human Rights, the Advancement Project, the ACLU, and the American Jewish Committee). 

All of the briefs, as well as other pertinent filings, are available at the University of Texas’s website.

The Supreme Court with hear the case on October 10, 2012.

Full List of Amicus Briefs Filed in Support of the University of Texas at Austin

  1. The United States of America
  2. 17 United States Senators
  3. 66 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives
  4. The State of California
  5. 14 other states (CT, HI, IL, IA, MD, MA, MS, MT, NM, NY, NC, VT, WA, WV), the District of Columbia, and the U. S. Virgin Islands
  6. A geographically and racially diverse group of 38 Texas state legislators
  7. 37 former high-ranking officers and civilian leaders of the U.S. Armed Forces (including three former chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff—General Colin L. Powell, Admiral Michael G. Mullen and General Henry H. Shelton)
  8. 57 Fortune 100 and other leading American businesses (including Dell, Microsoft, IBM, Cisco Systems, American Express, General Electric, Pfizer, Halliburton, Xerox, Procter & Gamble, Sprint Nextel, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Intel, DuPont, Viacom, Shell Oil, and Wal-Mart)
  9. 11 small businesses and small business owners (e.g., Michael Steele, former Republican National Committee Chair) and 11 small business associations (e.g., National Black Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Small Disadvantaged Businesses, Hispanic American Growers’ Association)
  10. Teach for America
  11. The Family of Heman Marion Sweatt 
    Sweatt was denied admission to the UT Law School solely because of his race until the U.S. Supreme Court stepped in with its landmark 1950 ruling in Sweatt v. Painter. Today, UT honors Sweatt’s legacy in many ways, none more so than its commitment to creating a genuinely diverse student body.
  12. 10 leading public research universities (e.g., University of Illinois, Indiana University, Ohio State University, University of Michigan, Michigan State University)
  13. President & Chancellors of the University of California
  14. University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
  15. 8 Catholic universities (e.g., Fordham, Georgetown, and Notre Dame)
  16. All Ivy League schools (Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, University of Pennsylvania) and 6 additional private universities (Stanford, University of Chicago, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Vanderbilt)
  17. California Institute of Technology and 9 other private research universities (e.g., Carnegie Mellon, Case Western, Emory, Northwestern, Rice, Tulane)
  18. Amherst College, Oberlin College, Wesleyan College, and 34 additional private colleges and universities
  19. Appalachian State University and 35 other public and private colleges and universities (e.g., New York University, Pepperdine University, Texas Southern University, University of Colorado Bolder, University of Connecticut, University of Massachusetts, University of Wisconsin System, Washington State University)
  20. Houston Community College System
  21. Yale Law School Dean Robert Post and Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow
  22. National League of Cities, Campus Compact, and 4 additional national organizations, as well as 11 higher education and public sector leaders who share an interest in developing partnerships between higher education and the public sector in areas crucial to the revitalization of metropolitan communities
  23. 16 major religious denominations and organizations (e.g., the General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church, the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, the American Baptist Churches, the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, the General Synod of the United Church of Christ, the Progressive National Baptist Convention, the National Council of the Churches of Christ, Esperanza, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good)
  24. American Jewish Committee, Central Conference of American Rabbis, and Union for Reform Judaism
  25. Anti-Defamation League
  26. Asian American Center for Advancing Justice and 74 additional Asian American and Pacific Islander advocacy organizations, bar and business associations, academic institutions, and student organizations
  27. Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, 18 additional Asian American and Pacific Islander organizations, and 52 higher education officials
  28. NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc., the UT Black Student Alliance, and the Black Ex-Students of Texas, Inc.
  29. 23 National Latino organizations (including the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), LatinoJustice PRLDEF, National Council of La Raza)
  30. 444 prominent social science researchers from 42 states and 172 educational institutions and research centers
  31. 11 empirical scholars challenging methodological flaws in the so-called “mismatch” hypothesis that affirmative action is harmful to minority students and that, on average, minority students admitted through affirmative action would be better off attending less selective colleges (including Guido Imbens, Professor at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University; Donald B. Rubin, Professor of Statistics at Harvard University; Gary King, University Professor at Harvard University and Director of the Institute for Quantitative Social Science; Richard A. Berk, Professor of Statistics and Criminology at the University of Pennsylvania; and Daniel E. Ho, Professor of Law at Stanford Law School)
  32. 95 experimental psychologists who study the phenomena of “stereotype threat”—the pressure that people feel when they fear that their performance could confirm a negative stereotype about their group, which manifests itself in anxiety and distraction that interferes with intellectual functioning
  33. 13 social and organizational psychologists who study intergroup contact and the physiological and/or psychological effects of a diverse environment
  34. Dr. Robert D. Putnam, Harvard School of Government Professor and author of Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community
  35. 6 Constitutional law scholars and the Constitutional Accountability Center
  36. American Educational Research Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Sociological Association, and 5 additional research associations
  37. American Psychological Association
  38. College Board, National School Boards Association, and 11 additional educational organizations
  39. American Council on Education, along with the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities, the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Inc., the National Collegiate Athletic Association, and 34 other higher education organizations
  40. National Association of Basketball Coaches, Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, Black Coaches & Administrators Organization, and 43 current and former basketball coaches and administrators (including Johnny Dawkins, head coach of the men’s basketball team at Stanford; Tom Izzo, head coach of the men’s basketball team at Michigan State; and Orlando “Tubby” Smith, head coach of the men’s basketball team at the University of Minnesota)
  41. Association of American Medical Colleges and 11 other healthcare education organizations, 14 physician and health care provider member organizations (e.g., the American Medical Association) and 3 medical student organizations, and a non-profit dedicated to improving the health of underserved communities
  42. Association of American Law Schools
  43. Society of American Law Teachers
  44. Law School Admission Council
  45. National Education Association and 27 of its affiliated state education associations; American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) and its affiliated national unions (e.g., the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)); the Service Employees International Union (SEIU); and People For the American Way Foundation
  46. American Bar Association
  47. New York State Bar Association
  48. Association of the Bar of the City of New York
  49. Boston Bar Association, 10 additional bar associations, the City of Boston, EMC Corporation, National Grid USA, and 24 law firms
  50. Coalition of 4 bar associations of color (National Bar Association, Hispanic National Bar Association, Asian Pacific American Bar Association, and National Native American Bar Association)
  51. United States Student Association, comprised of more than 4 million current college students from diverse backgrounds
  52. 28 undergraduate and graduate student organizations of California, reflecting a broad cross-section of students of all races and ethnicities
  53. 14 former and recent UT student body presidents, who served during 1992-2012
  54. 35 distinguished UT alumni, including prominent leaders in business, industry and government—all of whom graduated between 1948 and 1986 (e.g., Sara Martinez Tucker, former Under Secretary of Education (2006-2008); James Mulva, former Chairman & CEO of ConocoPhillips (2004-2012) and Phillips Petroleum (1999-2002); Charles W. Matthews, former Vice President and General Counsel of Exxon Mobil (1995-2010); and Barbara Smith Conrad, Mezzo-Soprano, New York Metropolitan Opera (1982-1989)) 
  55. National Black Law Students Association, which has nearly 6,000 members, over 200 law school chapters, a growing pre-law division, and 6 international chapters or affiliates 
  56. Five student organizations that advocate for Latino and other students (e.g., the Council for Minority Affairs at Texas A&M, Texas College Students for Diversity) as well as 167 Texas college students and graduates
  57. NAACP, the Texas State Conference of NAACP Branches & Barbara Bader Aldave (former UT Law School Professor, 1974-1989)
  58. United Negro College Fund
  59. American Civil Liberties Union
  60. Coalition of Black Male Achievement Initiatives
  61. Advancement Project
  62. Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, National Urban League, Children’s Defense Fund, YWCA USA, and 13 other organizations that have a common interest in promoting diversity in the nation’s colleges and universities
  63. National Women’s Law Center, American Association of University Women, Association for Women in Science, Society of Women Engineers & 21 additional civil rights organizations
  64. Brennan Center for Law and Justice at NYU School of Law & the League of Women Voters
  65. Five human rights advocate groups (e.g., Human Rights Advocates, Poverty & Race Research Action Council)
  66. Howard University School of Law Civil Rights Clinic
  67. 6 former Commissioners and General Counsel of the Federal Communications Commission and the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council
  68. Professor Kimberly West-Faulcon, Loyola Law School Los Angeles
  69. American Association for Affirmative Action
  70. Harvard Graduate School of Education Students for Diversity
  71. Emory OUTLaw & Emory Latin American Law Students Association
  72. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action and United for Equality and Affirmative Action Legal Defense Fund
  73. David Boyle, an alumnus of the University of Michigan Law School during the period leading up to Grutter v. Bollinger