The Rev. Al Sharpton, president of National Action Network and MSNBC host, has announced that on Oct. 10, 2012, the network (NAN) will unite with the Leadership Council on Civil and Human Rights and national organizations to show collective support for the admission policy used by the University of Texas at Austin during arguments in the case Fisher V. University of Texas at Austin. In that case, the Supreme Court will examine whether colleges have the right to consider race and ethnicity in making admissions decisions.
According to Sharpton, “The National Action Network and I are vehemently opposed to any decision that will have a negative impact on people of marginalized backgrounds receiving an equal opportunity to higher education within the United States. This case will have a tremendous impact for future generations and we must stand together to make our voices heard.”
According to Wade Henderson, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, “The Leadership Conference is proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with the National Action Network and all of our coalition partners in support of the University of Texas’ admissions policy. U.T. has created a fair process for expanding opportunity that provides a diverse and academically enriching campus for its student. It’s a policy that provides tremendous benefits to Texas and to our nation, and our presence at the Court will help amplify that message.”
Not only does this case threaten the equal opportunity admission policy used by the University of Texas at Austin, the decision held in this case could potentially overturn Grutter v. Bollinger, a 2003 case in which the Supreme Court ruled that race could play a limited role in the admissions policies of universities. If Grutter is overturned, all equal opportunity policies used in admissions at U.S. public universities could be eliminated.