Press

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Statement on Supreme Court Affirmative Action Rulings

Date: 
June 23, 2003

Mixed Rulings Do Little to End Legal Assaults on Affirmative Action By Radical Right

The following is attributable to National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Matt Foreman:

"We are gratified by the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision upholding the University of Michigan's law school admissions policy, affirming that government has a compelling interest in promoting racial diversity in state colleges and that race can be one of many factors that colleges consider when selecting their students. At the same time, we are dismayed by the court's second 6-3 ruling striking down the university's undergraduate admission policies - which awarded 20 extra points to applicants who are poor, minority or star athletes.

The debilitating effects of past decades of state-sanctioned racial discrimination are evident everywhere today and the only way to address this is through clear remedial steps. It is sadly ironic that Supreme Court - whose own past rulings enshrined race discrimination in American society - reject giving added points for an applicant's race while apparently having no problem with additional points based on athletic ability, "legacy" applicants, or those from certain geographic areas.

Moreover, today's mixed rulings will do little to end the endless legal assaults on affirmative action that are funded by the radical right.

The narrow margin in the law school case and the loss in the undergraduate case again underscores the importance of who is appointed to the Supreme Court. The values we hold dear - including reproductive freedom, racial justice, and personal liberty - have been seriously eroded by the ideologically-driven justices appointed by the Reagan and first Bush administrations. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force will do everything it can to defeat the confirmation of any more of this ilk nominated by President Bush."

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.