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Press release/statement

In Wake of Fisher Decision, Demos President Reaffirms Commitment to Policies That Promote Diversity in Higher Ed

New York, NY – Today, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Fisher v. University of Texas, a case involving the constitutionality of the admissions program at the University of Texas at Austin, which seeks to ensure diversity in its student body. The Court affirmed that achieving diversity remains a compelling governmental interest, but ruled that the lower courts must give closer scrutiny to whether the university could have achieved its goal of diversity through a more race-neutral alternative. Demos served as co-counsel to the United States Student Association, the nation’s oldest and largest student-run, student-led organization, which filed an amicus brief urging the Court to uphold the constitutionality of Texas’ plan.  

In response to the Court’s ruling, Demos President Miles Rapoport issued the following statement: 

“Just 10 years ago, in the case of Grutter v. Bollinger, the Supreme Court recognized that public institutions of higher education have a compelling government interest in a diverse student body that permits them to consider race and ethnicity as one, non-predominant factor among many in admissions. By preserving that core holding of Grutter, today’s decision is an important victory for the value of a diversity in higher education, which benefits our economy and our country as a whole.

As Demos’ amicus brief stated:

Today’s college-age students are part of a generation for which the importance of diversity in higher education has never been greater. They are more diverse than the general population, more diverse than the same age group was even 10 years ago, and they will emerge into a workforce that is more diverse than any past generation’s.  . . .  Institutions of higher education thus have a critical role to play in providing the opportunity for a diverse education that is necessary to college students’ future success in the workplace and as citizens and leaders."

Institutions of higher education thus have a critical role to play in providing the opportunity for a diverse education

"Preserving college diversity is critical to Demos' mission of fostering a more inclusive democracy and expanding economic opportunity for all.  The Fisher case invites us all to acknowledge the role public policy has played in widening racial disparities in college access over the past generation, and to press the need for robust policies, from diversity considerations in admissions to debt-free college, to ensure that higher education remains a fair pathway to a diverse middle class in America."

“In the wake of today’s decision, institutions of higher learning must recommit to the goal of ensuring that their student bodies include talented students from all backgrounds and walks of life. Demos looks forward to working with our allies to advance the policies needed to ensure that all Americans have an equal chance in our economy and an equal say in our democracy.