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Gephardt Statement on Supreme Court's Decision in Support of University of Michigan's Affirmative Action Policy

Press Release
June 23, 2003

Gephardt is a Graduate of UM Law School.

"The Supreme Court's ruling today will ensure that these vital efforts to promote diversity in higher education will continue."

      — Dick Gephardt

Washington, DC — "The Supreme Court's decision to reject the backward-looking policies of the Bush administration is a critical step toward greater inclusiveness in higher education," said Gephardt, a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School. "Any effort to deny our nation’s compelling interest in ensuring diversity is short-sighted and wrong."

"While I am disappointed in the Supreme Court's decision today to overturn the University of Michigan's undergraduate affirmative action program, the court's ruling upholding the law school case makes clear that race continues to be a legitimate factor to consider in providing opportunity to all students.

"Affirmative action is an essential tool in expanding educational opportunities for women and people of color. When I graduated from the University of Michigan Law School, I only had one African-American classmate. Because of the law school's affirmative action program and others like it across the country, that opportunity has been extended to thousands of Americans from diverse backgrounds. The Supreme Court's ruling today will ensure that these vital efforts to promote diversity in higher education will continue."

Gephardt had filed an amicus brief in support of the university's affirmative action program. Reps. Jim Clyburn (SC-06), Carolyn Kilpatrick (MI-13), Xavier Becerra (CA-31), Mel Watt (NC-12), Elijah Cummings (MD-07) and Chaka Fattah (PA-02) joined him in filing the brief.


CONTACT: Erik Smith / Kim Molstre
Campaign HQ: 202-448-9300
press@dickgephardt2004.com

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