Haverford Among Colleges to Submit Friend of the Court Brief in Michigan Case
In the "amici curiae," or "friends of the Court" brief filed on Friday, February 14, the 28 private colleges, all claiming a "compelling interest in enrolling highly diverse – including racially diverse – classes," argue, among other points, that the Court "should consider the realities of admitting applicants, to serve the college mission, in a society in which race still matters in determining a person's available opportunities and life experienceâ€¦"
Citing examples of the educational benefits for individual students and society at large, as a result of affirmative action, the brief argues that the alternatives suggested by the Justice Department and petitioners to achieve diversity would not work at smaller highly selective colleges. "Admitting a percentage of each high school class, or focusing on class or economic circumstance without looking at racial background could not work at small, highly selective schools, if the objective is to enroll a class that is both academically excellent and diverse."
Besides Haverford College, the other supporting respondents are Amherst, Bates, Bowdoin, Bryn Mawr, Carleton, Colby, Colgate, Connecticut, Davidson, Franklin and Marshall, Hamilton, Hampshire, Macalester, Middlebury, Mount Holyoke, Oberlin, Pomona, Sarah Lawrence, Smith, Swarthmore, Trinity, Vassar, Washington and Lee, Wellesley, and Williams, as well as Wesleyan and Tufts Universities.
â€œAffirmative action is part of America's commitment to equality,” notes Haverford President, Thomas R. Tritton.“ The arguments on this subject may be complex, ambiguous and even divisive, but to lose the ability to practice affirmative action in college admissions would be a step backwards for our society and nation.”