ADL defends U. Texas affirmative action policy

NEW YORK (JTA) — The Anti-Defamation League is urging the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the University of Texas’ efforts to assemble a diverse student body.


The ADL announced Friday that it has filed an amicus brief in defense of the school’s admissions policies.

“We recognize that diversity is a critically important part of the college experience, and support the University of Texas’ admissions policy because we believe that the University has used the proper means to achieve a diverse student body,” said the ADL’s national director, Abraham Foxman, and its national chair, Robert Sugarman, in a statement.

The school’s policies are being challenged by two white women who applied to the university and allege that they were discriminated against because of their race. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case, and its eventual ruling could have profound consequences for the future of affirmative action.

In previous Supreme Court cases dealing with affirmative action in university admissions, the Anti-Defamation League has filed briefs opposing the policies in question. In 2003, when many Jewish groups singed onto a brief in support of the University of Michigan’s affirmative action policies, the ADL filed its own brief in opposition.

In Friday’s statement, the ADL distinguished the University of Texas’ policies from those that it has opposed in the past.

“The University of Texas’ approach does not impose quotas, assign people to categories based on their race, or use race as a determinative factor in making admissions decisions.  Rather, it uses race as only one factor in a holistic review of each applicant,” Foxman and Sugarman stated. “This is not an overt or a covert quota system, which ADL would have opposed.”

The two ADL officials called the policy “an effective and constitutionally sound way to ensure diversity, and an important step towards the creation of a fully integrated society which honors inclusiveness and is free of racial and ethnic hatred and the discrimination which results from it.”

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