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Attorney General William Tong


Attorney General Tong Statement on U.S. Supreme Court Decision Striking Down Race-Conscious Admissions

(Hartford, CT) – Attorney General William Tong released a statement today following a U.S. Supreme Court decision undercutting more than four decades of precedent allowing higher education institutions to consider race or ethnicity as part of holistic admissions processes to promote diversity in learning environments:

“The Supreme Court majority got it all wrong – our Constitution’s meaning, our history, and the enduring reality of discrimination in this country,” said Attorney General Tong. “The Fourteenth Amendment was written to bring justice to Black Americans after centuries of brutal slavery. It remains a bulwark against discrimination. It doesn’t blind us to race. Instead, it demands that we stay alert to the painful reality of racism. And it leaves private and public colleges and universities free to promote racial and ethnic diversity. Today is a gut punch. But even a hostile Supreme Court cannot bend the arc of the moral universe away from justice.”

“As a Chinese-American, let me just say that efforts to pit Asian-American students against their classmates and friends are deeply hurtful and unhelpful. To the right-wing extremists using families like mine to advance your own hate-based agenda: you do not speak for me. I have benefited throughout my life from programs that recognize the value of diversity. Those opportunities lift us all. Diversity matters. In the workplace, in our communities, in our schools at every grade and level, we all benefit from the perspectives and experiences of those who are different from us. Refusing to acknowledge or address race does not make racism go away.”

Attorney General Tong filed an amicus brief in the cases Students For Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President & Fellows of Harvard College and Students For Fair Admissions, Inc v. University of North Carolina, urging the Court to reaffirm its prior rulings in Grutter v. Bollinger, Gratz v. Bollinger, and Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin that found that a holistic race-conscious admissions policy is constitutional when necessary to give students the educational benefits of diversity. In the brief, the coalition of 20 attorneys general contend that the ability to work and serve diverse populations is critical to meeting the needs of their residents – in delivering health care, in educating students, and leading and staffing businesses and government institutions.

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