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CBAC Encouraged by Ruling in Affirmative Action Case

Thursday, June 23, 2016  
Posted by: Brett Schuster
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News Release

For Immediate Release
June 23, 2016

For More Information, Contact​:
                                      Brett Schuster, Communications Manager

National Coalition of Bar Associations of Color Encouraged by
Ruling in Affirmative Action Case

Filed Joint Amicus Curiae Brief with U.S. Supreme Court in Fisher v. University of Texas


WASHINGTON — 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) applauds the Supreme Court’s ruling in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, which reaffirms the principle that diversity in higher education is a compelling interest. CBAC remains cautiously optimistic that, in light of this decision, colleges and universities may continue to develop effective admissions policies that include race as a factor as part of a holistic review to create diversity and opportunity in the applicant pool.

CBAC member bar associations jointly filed an amicus curiae brief with the Supreme Court in Fisher that recognized the importance of race-conscious admissions policies to communities of color and the important role they play in ensuring diversity in the legal profession. The brief is available here.

“Collegiate diversity isn’t simply an aspirational goal; it is critical to the success of our nation’s economy and our democracy,” said HNBA President Robert T. Maldonado. “We are pleased the Supreme Court agreed that diversity in higher education continues to be a compelling national interest, and worthy of race-conscious remedies. Our nation must not shy away from taking this challenge head on, so that all students, including those affected by racial discrimination, whether hidden or apparent, have an equal opportunity to succeed.”

“Today the Supreme Court affirmed the important role race-conscious admissions policies have in ensuring diversity in our nation’s colleges and universities,” said NAPABA President Jin Y. Hwang. “As lawyers of color, we see the beneficial impacts of these policies every day in the legal workforce and we recognize that diversity in higher education is critical to ensuring we have a pipeline of talented lawyers and judges able to serve their communities.

“We are encouraged that the Court continued to recognize these benefits for our country and allow colleges and universities to continue to ensure diversity and inclusion on campuses.”

"The National Bar Association applauds the Supreme Court for recognizing the continued importance of diversity in higher education by permitting universities to incorporate race-conscious polices into their admissions process. As legal professionals, we recognize the importance and necessity of these policies to increase much needed diversity in our profession," said Benjamin L. Crump, President of the NBA.

"Diversity is important to educational opportunities for all and furthers classroom discussion and understanding," said Jennifer Weddle, President of the National Native Bar Association. "We are heartened that the Supreme Court has recognized the importance of diversity, which enriches the educational experience for all students, promotes critical thinking, and helps to develop a more understanding society.”  

For more information, please contact:

HNBA Contact: Daniel Herrera: (202) 930-6805;
NAPABA Contact: Brett Schuster: (202) 775-9555;
NBA Contact: Lonita Baker: (502) 210-7062;
NNABA Contact: Jennifer Weddle: (303) 572-6565;

The Coalition of Bar Associations of Color (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 Association (NNABA).

The HNBA is an incorporated, not-for-profit, national membership organization that represents the interests of the more than 50,000 Hispanic attorneys, judges, law professors, legal assistants, and law students in the United States and its territories. From the days of its founding three decades ago, the HNBA has acted as a force for positive change within the legal profession. It does so by encouraging Latino students to choose a career in the law and by prompting their advancement within the profession once they graduate and start practicing. Through a combination of issue advocacy, programmatic activities, networking events and educational conferences, the HNBA has helped generations of lawyers succeed. 

NAPABA is the national association of Asian Pacific American (APA) attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 50,000 attorneys and over 75 national, state, and local bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal services and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government. NAPABA engages in legislative and policy advocacy, promotes APA political leadership and political appointments,
and builds coalitions within the legal profession and the community at large. NAPABA also serves as a resource for government agencies, members of Congress, and public service organizations about APAs in the legal profession, civil rights, and diversity in the courts.

Founded in 1925, the NBA is the nation's oldest and largest national network of minority attorneys and judges. It represents approximately 60,000 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. For additional information about the National Bar Association, visit

Founded in 1973, the NNABA serves as the national association for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian attorneys, judges, law professors and law students. NNABA strives for justice and effective legal representation for all American indigenous peoples; fosters the development of Native American lawyers and judges; and addresses social, cultural and legal issues affecting American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians.

National Asian Pacific American Bar Association

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Washington, DC 20006


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