Fisher v University of Texas

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Note for TV and radio: The University of Pennsylvania has an on-campus satellite uplink facility with live-shot capability and an on-campus ISDN line.

Dr. Camille Z. Charles, a professor of sociology and Africana studies in the School of Arts and Sciences, chair of the Department of Africana Studies and director of the Center for Africana Studies. Dr. Charles is co-author of Taming the River: Negotiating the Academic, Financial, and Social Currents in Selective Colleges and Universities, author of Won’t You Be My Neighbor: Race, Class and Residence in Los Angeles and co-author of The Source of the River: The Social Origins of Freshmen at America’s Selective Colleges and Universities. 

Quote: “A decision that makes the consideration of race impermissible is deeply troubling for two reasons. First, there is the matter of Grutter v. Bollinger, the 2003 challenge in which the Court 1) declared that for at least the next 25 years, universities should retain the right to make their admissions decisions that consider a variety of individual characteristics — including race — and the degree to which those attributes contribute to the overall diversity of their student bodies, and 2) acknowledged the value of diversity for individual learning experiences but also for the greater societal good. Second, there is the unfinished business of ‘equality of opportunity,’ evidenced in persisting prejudice and discrimination — whether intentional or unconscious -- and their consequences for upward mobility. For the good of our country, upholding Grutter is essential.”

            Media contact: Jacquie Posey at 215-898-6460 or


Kermit Roosevelt, professor of law with expertise in constitutional law and conflict of laws.  Roosevelt is a frequent media commentator on constitutional issues and supports the University’s affirmative action admissions policy.   

Quote: “If the Supreme Court rules that the consideration of race is categorically impermissible in university admissions, it will be breaking the promise made 10 years ago in Grutter when it (oddly) suggested that affirmative action programs should expire in 25 years. More seriously, it will be destroying the promise of the Reconstruction Amendments, which sought not to impose a colorblind straitjacket on government action but to promote substantive equality.”

            Media contact: Steve Barnes at 215-898-5181 or

Theodore Ruger, professor of law with expertise in constitutional law and legislation. He is the author of an amicus brief filed in Fisher on behalf of the National Association of Basketball Coaches, Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, Black Coaches & Administrators and 43 current and former coaches and administrators, all of which urged the Court to uphold the university’s affirmative action admissions policy.  

Quote: “Less than a decade ago, the Supreme Court in Grutter purported to resolve for at least a generation going forward the crucial question of whether universities can retain the freedom to make their own admissions decisions about individual applicants whose personal backgrounds contribute to overall campus diversity. In so ruling, the Court also recognized the compelling and enduring societal gains that we all share from developing a diverse cohort of future leaders. The Fisher case should be an easy one based on existing precedent and result in affirmance of the lower court and the constitutionality of the University of Texas admissions policy. But there is a possibility that some justices on the current court will use this case as an opportunity to overrule recent precedent and impose new restrictions on university discretion.

                        Media contact: Steve Barnes at 215-898-5181 or