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National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Hails Supreme Court Decision on Affirmative Action
Urges Bush Administration to Support Decision


June 23, 2003

Washington, D.C. - The Supreme Court's decision in the University of Michigan case, Grutter v. Bollinger, is a resounding victory for affirmative action and for diversity on our college campuses and in American society, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the largest national Hispanic civil rights organization, said today.

"The Court explicitly stated that there is a compelling governmental interest in promoting racial diversity on campus and that programs that are designed to ensure a 'critical mass' of minority students are well within the scope of the law," noted Raul Yzaguirre, NCLR President. "It is clear that all universities should feel free to implement and sustain programs that take race and ethnicity into account; they just need to doit in the right way," continued Yzaguirre.

"This is an important day for the Latino community in its quest to truly benefit from affirmative action and diversity programs in a way it never has before. With this ruling, the door to higher education will remain open until Hispanic students are present on college campuses in the numbers they rightfully should be," stated Yzaguirre.

"Despite the good news in today's decision, we are still outraged by the Bush Administration's role in this process. The Supreme Court believes that diversity and excellence go hand in hand: why doesn't the Bush Administration? Their support of the plantiffs in these cases is one more example of an Administration whose support of improved educational opportunities for Hispanic Americans is more rhetoric than reality. We hope today's decision spurs the Administration not only to end its effort to dismantle affirmative action but to enact policies that truly help Latino students," concluded Yzaguirre.

Contact:
Lisa Navarrete
Angela Arboleda
(202) 785-1670

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