WASHINGTON, DC — The Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) today filed a “friend-of-the-court” brief in the cases Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger, urging the United States Supreme Court to reverse the holding of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and find the University of Michigan’s use of racial and ethnic preferences unconstitutional.

IWF was joined by The Center for Equal Opportunity and The American Civil Rights Institute in filing the brief.

The brief documents the University of Michigan Law School’s system for giving greater weight to the applications of racial and ethnic minority students despite a disparity in academic qualifications between minority students and other students.

“The Law School’s quota system is but one type of institutionalized racial and ethnic discrimination, in the form of race preferences, that has blossomed in the United States since this Court decided Bakke,” the brief states. “This Court should clearly hold that a State’s desire for greater student-body racial or ethnic diversity does not justify racial and ethnic discrimination, no matter how such discrimination is implemented.

“Instead, this Court should address whether a State’s desire for greater student body diversity is an interest so compelling as to constitutionally permit State racial and ethnic discrimination, and this Court should clearly and affirmatively hold that it is not.”

Later the brief states, “The fact that one of the top law schools in the nation was following an admissions policy obviously at odds with this Court’s ruling in Bakke underscores the need to strengthen and clarify that ruling. After twenty-five years, it is obvious that university officials cannot be allowed to weigh race so long as, in their opinion, they do so in a ‘narrowly tailored’ fashion. If the door to discrimination is left ajar, universities will drive a truck through it.”

Nancy M. Pfotenhauer, IWF President, notes that such unconstitutional racial and ethnic preferences are unnecessary to support the academic aspirations of minority students. “In states where racial and ethnic preferences have been ended — California, Texas, Florida, and Washington — minority enrollment has, in almost all cases, increased since the discriminatory policies were abolished,” she says.

While the IWF strongly believes in equal opportunity, we emphatically oppose the use of quotas whether overt or de facto. Quotas, which mandate equal outcomes, are the antithesis to equal opportunity.