Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Available for Comment on Affirmative Action Supreme Court Cases

Media 03.31,03

Wade Henderson, executive director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR), is available to comment on the April 1st Supreme Court oral arguments on the two cases challenging the affirmative action policies of the University of Michigan. Mr. Henderson will be in the courtroom to hear and evaluate the arguments and observe the justices’ questioning of the lawyers arguing the case.

LCCR has spearheaded successful campaigns defeating attempts to eliminate affirmative action by the executive and legislative branches over the past three decades. LCCR also submitted a “friend of the court” brief supporting the University of Michigan’s affirmative action program. The brief supports the use of race as one factor in admissions policies to preserve diversity in the nation’s colleges and universities.

On affirmative action, Wade Henderson has stated, “Schools take all kinds of factors into consideration when making admission decisions ? factors that have nothing to do with SAT scores or grades. By not taking race into consideration, it will be primarily children from privileged backgrounds rather than children from disadvantaged backgrounds who will populate our campuses.”

LCCR is the nation’s oldest, largest, and most diverse civil rights coalition consisting of more than 180 national organizations representing persons of color, women, children, labor unions, individuals with disabilities, older Americans, major religious groups, gays and lesbians and civil liberties and human rights groups.

LCCR and its sister organization, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund, the research and education arm of the civil rights coalition, have developed a special “Michigan Affirmative Action Cases” section on www.civilrights.org, which provides detailed background information about the cases.