International law firm Squire Patton Boggs filed an amicus brief at the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of faith organizations The General Synod of the United Church of Christ (“UCC”), the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (“NCCUSA”) the American Baptist Home Mission Societies (“ABHMS”), and the African Descent Lutheran Association of the ELSA (“ADLA-ELCA”) in support of the Respondents, Harvard College and The University of North Carolina, in consolidated appeals brought by Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA).
The amicus brief contends that in a multicultural society, diversity in higher education is essential to obtaining the necessary growth and experience to lead and serve in both secular and religious spaces and that “the mission to connect with and understand people of varying cultures remains a fundamental tenet of faith to amici and many other faith-based organizations.”
The amici organizations affirmed the mission of many religious denominations and faith organizations in our multicultural society “to sustain and build multicultural memberships” and to minister to diverse populations. They recognized the critical need for the skills, knowledge and experience obtained through a diverse educational experience to achieve a diverse and inclusive worship experience and ministry.
Finally, as we bear witness to increased intolerance, misinformation and racial, ethnic and religious violence the brief stresses that diversity in higher education is “a critical tool in achieving the call to greater understanding and combating [the] hate that this misinformation and miseducation sows” by building unity and understanding in our country.
The cases against the universities in the Supreme Court seek to eliminate over four decades of established legal precedent permitting institutions to engage in a limited consideration of race in the admissions process to identify a diverse group of highly qualified applicants and experience the benefits of diverse learning environments.
Squire Patton Boggs partners Corrine Irish, Rodney Slater, Keith Bradley, and associates Chase Goldstein and Andrew Yu-Chih contributed to the brief, which can be read in full here.