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DePaul supports affirmative action in Supreme Court amicus brief

56 Catholic colleges and universities sign on ahead of fall cases

Supreme Court of the United States
This fall, the Supreme Court will hear cases that could determine the future of affirmative action. ( Chizek)
DePaul has cosigned an amicus brief with 56 Catholic colleges and universities urging the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold affirmative action ahead of two upcoming cases. The brief urges the court to continue allowing institutions of higher education to consider an applicant’s race as one of many factors in admissions decisions. DePaul was part of a coalition of colleges and universities that compiled materials and helped craft arguments for the brief.

“DePaul has an enduring commitment to educating diverse and underserved populations,” says President Robert L. Manuel. “Affirmative action is an important tool in fulfilling our mission and providing access to a high-quality education in a way that is equitable and just.”

Affirmative action in college admissions has a 40-year legal precedent, but it will be on the docket this fall as the court decides Students for Fair Admissions v. President & Fellows of Harvard College and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina. Authors cite the First Amendment and related precedents as evidence that affirmative action in college admissions aligns with both religious and academic freedom.

The brief argues that racial diversity in admissions is “inextricably intertwined” with the missions of Catholic institutions, which have shared values including a dedication to serving others and putting faith into action.

DePaul’s mission recognizes “the intrinsic connection between dignity and diversity as a natural and necessary context for human flourishing.” The brief cites how diversity deepens DePaul’s commitments to the community and prepares students for fulfilling careers.

“Diversity enriches DePaul and prepares students to live and work in a global community,” says Elizabeth Ortiz, vice president for institutional diversity and equity. “We are committed to being an inclusive community that draws on diversity as a source of strength.”

Read the brief online.​