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For Immediate Release
February 19, 2003
Contact: Sean Caine, 410-576-6357

MARYLAND, NEW YORK FILE BRIEF IN SUPPORT OF
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN ADMISSIONS PROGRAMS

Read the brief (PDF)

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr., announced today that Maryland and New York have filed a brief in the United States Supreme Court on behalf of 21 States in support of the University of Michigan's admissions programs. The States argue in the brief that because providing a high quality education is one of the most important functions of state government, they must retain the freedom to create strong educational institutions tailored to the needs of each State and its citizens. States have learned, through decades of experience, that a diverse student population enriches the learning environment for all students and better prepares them to perform at the highest levels in a heterogenous world.

"Since the Supreme Court's decision in Bakke, it has been almost universally understood that where achieving a diverse student body is the goal, an applicant’s race is as legitimate a consideration as the person's age, geographic origin, socioeconomic status, and other attributes that higher education institutions take into account in making admissions decisions," Attorney General Curran said.

The Supreme Court will hear arguments April 1 on the constitutionality of the use of race as a factor in the University’s admissions decisions.

"We live in a nation populated by individuals from many different racial and ethnic cultures. Attending school with people of all backgrounds helps all of us develop the mutual respect and understanding that are critical to our future well-being," Curran added.

Maryland and New York filed the brief on behalf of the following states: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Oklahoma, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia and the Territory of the Virgin Islands.

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