FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 24, 2013
HNBA Contact: Erika Lopez (202) 223-4777
NAPABA Contact: Emily Chatterjee (202) 775-9555
NBA Contact: Erika Owens (202) 842-3900
NNABA Contact: Mary Smith (405) 761-1723
Coalition of Bar Associations of Color
Reassured by Supreme Court's Decision in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin
- The Coalition of Bar Associations of Color (CBAC) - the Hispanic
National Bar Association (HNBA), the National Asian Pacific American
Bar Association (NAPABA), the National Bar Association (NBA) and the
National Native American Bar Association (NNABA) - is reassured by the
Supreme Court's decision today to reaffirm the principle that diversity
in higher education is a compelling national interest. We remain
cautiously optimistic about the Court's decision to send the case back
to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Supreme Court partially vacated a lower court ruling that had upheld
the right of the University of Texas at Austin to partially consider
race in its admissions' policy. However, in deciding Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, it left intact the precedent it set in Grutter v. Bollinger, which allows schools to consider racial diversity as an admissions factor.
Last summer, CBAC filed an amicus curiae brief with the Supreme Court in the Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin case. The brief highlights the progress made in diversifying the legal profession since the Court's ruling in Grutter v. Bollinger,
while discussing the continued need for race-conscious admissions
programs to further the diversification of the legal profession.
encouraged that the United States Supreme Court's ruling affirmed the
Grutter v. Hollinger decision which allows racial and ethnic diversity
to be considered as one of many factors in a carefully crafted
admissions policy," stated HNBA National President Peter M. Reyes, Jr.
"These are important factors to consider when taking a holistic
admissions approach, and the Court in a 7-1 strongly supports our
"We are encouraged by the Court's decision today in Fisher,"
said Wendy C. Shiba, president of NAPABA. "A strong majority of the
Court has stood in support of diversity as a compelling interest, and
members of the Asian Pacific American community are heartened by this
outcome. We see evidence of the importance of a diverse workforce every
day in the legal profession, and are thankful that our nation's
commitment to the values of diversity and inclusion has been ratified
decision underscores diversity as a compelling interest for all
institutions of education and higher learning," stated John E. Page,
President of the National Bar Association. "Even with strict scrutiny of
the methods used to achieve such diversity, the US Supreme Court
continues to agree that many factors, including race, can be a factor
in an admissions program."
is important to educational opportunities for all and furthers
classroom discussion and understanding," said Mary Smith, President of
the National Native Bar Association. "We are heartened that the Supreme
Court has recognized the importance of diversity."
CBAC was established in
1992 and is comprised of the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA),
the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), the
National Bar Association (NBA), and the National Native American Bar
The Hispanic National Bar
Association is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, national professional
association that represents the interests of over 100,000 attorneys,
judges, law professors, legal assistants, and law students of Hispanic
descent in the United States, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands. The
Hispanic National Bar Association has thirty eight affiliated bars in
various states across the country. The Hispanic National Bar
Association's continuing mission is to improve the study, practice, and
administration of justice for all Americans by ensuring the meaningful participation of Hispanics in the legal profession.
The National Asian
Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of
Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law
students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 40,000 attorneys and
66 state and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members
include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel,
legal service and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all
levels of government. NAPABA continues to be a leader in addressing
civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities.
Through its national network of committees and affiliates, NAPABA
provides a strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state
judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works
to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the
professional development of people of color in the legal profession.
Founded in 1925, the
National Bar Association is the nation's oldest and largest national
network of minority attorneys and judges. It represents approximately
44,000 lawyers, judges, law professors and law students and has over 80
affiliate chapters throughout the United States and around the world.
The organization seeks to advance the science of jurisprudence,
preserve the independence of the judiciary and to uphold the honor and
integrity of the legal profession.
The National Native
American Bar Association is the oldest and largest association of
predominantly Native-American attorneys in the United States. The
National Native American Bar Association was founded in 1973 when the
first group of Native-American attorneys was entering the legal
profession. The National Native American Bar Association's core mission
since its inception has been to promote the development of
Native-American attorneys. Native Americans comprise one of the
smallest groups of attorneys of color in the nation, totaling
approximately 2,500. The National Native American Bar Association is
committed to increasing the number of Native-American students who
attend college and continue their education to attend law school. The
National Native American Bar Association and its chapters are involved
in pipeline initiatives to promote the recruitment and retention of
Native-American law students and law faculty. And an initiative of the
National Native American Bar Association is to increase the appointment
of Native Americans to the state and federal judiciaries; there are
currently no Native-American Article III judges.