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National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA)
The Colorado Building, 5th Floor
1341 G Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20005

May 15, 2002

The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit today upheld the University of Michigan Law School's affirmative-action admissions program in the Grutter v. Bollinger case, in which the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) had filed an amicus curiae brief in support of the Law School. The National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium, Asian Law Caucus, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund and Asian Pacific American Legal Center had joined NAPABA in the amicus brief.

"The Sixth Circuit correctly followed the precedent laid out by Justice Powell in Regents of the University of California v. Bakke," said Yong Lee, of Cameron & Hornbostel, NAPABA's counsel on its amicus brief. "As Justice Powell pointed out in the Bakke case and as this court has confirmed, diversity within the student body at an institution of higher learning is a compelling interest that justifies a program such as the Law School's."

NAPABA is ecstatic that the Sixth Circuit has upheld the University of Michigan Law School's affirmative-action admissions program. The district court decision in the Grutter case simplistically chose to lump Asian Pacific Americans with whites in this debate, following a tactic proposed by the Center for Individual Rights, counsel for the plaintiff, and reflected in Judge Boggs's dissenting opinion. NAPABA rejects any notion that opponents to affirmative action are speaking on behalf of Asian Pacific Americans. While Asian Pacific Americans are not named beneficiaries under the University of Michigan Law School's affirmative action admissions program (and in fact are not included this program), NAPABA supports the Law School program because it affords the opportunity to create a rich and diverse educational environment, which ultimately benefits all students. These benefits are especially important in a law school where students from diverse backgrounds can engender worthy debate and where future lawyers can prepare themselves for participation in an increasingly diverse society.

A summary of the Grutter v. Bollinger case can be found on the NAPABA website www.napaba.org. The full text opinion can be found at: http://pacer.ca6.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/getopn.pl?OPINION=02a0170p.06



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