Equitable Educational Opportunities

Advancing Justice | AAJC pursues impact litigation in federal courts, files amicus briefs (including in cases before the U.S. Supreme Court), and engages cross-communally to advance equitable educational opportunities in K-12 and higher education admissions policies.

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Timeline of Advocacy and Support for K-12 Equitable Educational Opportunities in Admissions

Our country's courts and public school systems have long recognized the barriers to equal educational opportunity that have historically disadvantaged African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinx students, other students of color, economically disadvantaged students, and English Language Learners nationwide.

Children experience some of their most formative, world-building years in grades K-12, which is why all students deserve a fair shot at receiving an excellent education, regardless of their income, where they grew up, or their racial and ethnic background.

Timeline

  • March 24, 2022 - Advancing Justice | AAJC joins civil rights groups in submitting an amicus brief for the case Coalition for TJ v. Fairfax County School Board. The brief urges the Court to grant the Fairfax County School Board’s motion to protect the public interest and prevent further harm to students of color.
  • February 28, 2022 - LDF, Advancing Justice | AAJC, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, and Ballard Spahr file an amicus brief in support of dismissing Association for Education Fairness v. Montgomery County Board of Education.
  • September 16, 2021 - Advancing Justice | AAJC, LDF, and LatinoJustice PRLDEF submit an amicus brief in support of admissions policies that promote equal educational opportunities in the case Coalition for TJ v. Fairfax County School Board.
  • July 29, 2022 - United States District Court for the District of Maryland dismisses the case Association for Education Fairness v. Montgomery County Board of Education, citing the amici's brief as persuasive.

Advocacy and Support for Race-Conscious Admissions in Higher Education

According to the 2022 Asian American Voter Survey carried out by Advancing Justice | AAJC, APIAVote, and AAPI Data, 69% of Asian Americans support affirmative action, or race-conscious admissions.

Affirmative action looks at who can thrive in the learning environment when given equal opportunity and expands college opportunity beyond those who can claim legacy or affluence in college admissions. Removing affirmative action would hurt many Asian American applicants who continue to face educational barriers. Asian Americans, like all students, benefit from an application process that considers all of each candidate's qualities.

Timeline

  • August 1, 2022 - Asian Americans Advancing Justice affiliation files two amicus briefs before the U.S. Supreme Court in SFFA v. Harvard, affirming long-standing support of race-conscious admissions in higher education.
    • One amicus brief submitted by the Advancing Justice affiliation is filed with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Lawyers For Civil Rights, and pro bono counsel Arnold & Porter on behalf of a multiracial group of alumni students of color at Harvard who support holistic admissions policies.
    • The Advancing Justice affiliation, along with pro bono counsel Ballard Spahr, also submitted a separate amicus brief joined by 37 Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) civil rights groups, advocacy organizations, professionals, and student organizations in support of race-conscious admissions programs.
  • November 12, 2020 - U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit Court upholds Harvard’s race-conscious admissions policy in SFFA v. Harvard College
  • May 18, 2020 - Advancing Justice | AAJC files an amicus brief in Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) v. Harvard to protect Harvard’s freedom to consider race in admissions to the full extent allowed by law. Harvard’s undergraduate admissions process is unquestionably consistent with the commands of the Supreme Court’s framework for evaluating race-conscious higher education admissions.

Fisher v. University of Texas

  • August 15, 2017 - Advancing Justice | AAJC publishes "Facts About Affirmative Action," which draws from the Asian Americans Advancing Justice amicus brief in Fisher v. University of Texas, to guide advocates in discussing the impact of affirmative action on AAPIs.

  • June 24, 2016 - Eugene Chay, former Senior Staff Attorney at Advancing Justice | AAJC, writes the blog "Affirmative Action Lives On" after the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the University of Texas’ holistic admission program in Fisher v. University of Texas.

  • November 2, 2015 - Asian Americans Advancing Justice affiliation publishes an amicus brief that affirms how race-conscious university admissions policies have and continue to benefit Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

  • February 3, 2015 - Fisher v. University of Texas aims to dismantle race-conscious university admissions policies, which have and continue to benefit AAPIs. Advancing Justice | AAJC releases the factsheet "Why Affirmative Action Helps, Not Harms, Asian Americans."

Grutter v. Bollinger, et al.

  • February 14, 2003 - Advancing Justice | AAJC, National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium, Asian Law Caucus, Asian Pacific American Legal Center, et al. submit an amicus brief in support of respondents in a race-conscious college admissions case.
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