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National Women's Group Urges Supreme Court to Uphold Equal Opportunity, Fairness, Diversity

Statement by Judith L. Lichtman
President of the National Partnership for Women & Families

December 2, 2002

“Our well-established and time-honored American values of fairness, equal opportunity, and diversity will hang in the balance while the Supreme Court considers Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger. The outcome of these affirmative action cases may determine whether or not our nation continues on the road toward equal opportunity that we set out on nearly 50 years ago with the landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education.

This case may emerge as the single most important civil rights and education case in three decades. The outcome could have broad ramifications for how affirmative action programs work across the country. Qualified women and people of color still rely on affirmative action programs to ensure they have a fair chance.

Affirmative action is one strategy that has successfully leveled the playing field for all Americans. Support for these programs cuts across political, gender, and racial lines. Employers, schools, and businesses recognize it not only as a tool to expand equal opportunity, but to achieve diversity. Everyone will benefit if the Supreme Court upholds these fundamental American values by reaffirming equal opportunity as a critical principle of our just and fair society.”

Contact: Nicky Coolberth

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