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Conservative activists were notably absent from a large rally on Wednesday in front of the Supreme Court as justices began consideration of a landmark case on the legality of affirmative action.
The protest on the steps of the highest court in the land did, however, feature around 200 students or more, all of whom appeared to be in favor of current affirmative action laws being considered in the case, Fisher v. University of Texas.
“I’m out here because I think diversity is important,” Daniel Ramos, a John Hopkins student told Campus Reform. “I believe that we are not at the point where race no longer matters.”
Other supporters argued that colleges should not simply judge applicants based solely on academic performance.
“I don’t think that just grades and test scores are the best way to decide who should be admitted to a college or university because there is so much more that makes a person than just that,” said Michelle Lee, a student at the University of California – San Diego.
“Diverse colleges and universities will not happen on their own,” Marcia Greenberger, Founder and Co-President of the National Women’s Law Center, told the audience in her speech.
Other speakers reflected similar views.
“Many students of color face extra obstacles to success not faced by others, and when students do well despite these obstacles, universities should be able to give them a chance to succeed,” said Wade Henderson, President of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.
In the case before the Supreme Court, the University of Texas introduced racial preferences in admissions to ensure a racially diverse student body. Abigail Fisher, however, filed a lawsuit challenging this policy after she was denied admission to the school.
Her case directly challenges Grutter v. Bollinger, in which the high court upheld the affirmative action policy of the University of Michigan Law School.
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