Constitution Day, Sept. 17, will be marked at UNC School of Law with a free public panel discussion on affirmative action. The event will be held at noon in the rotunda, and light refreshments will be served.
This year’s panel discussion will focus on the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court case Fisher v. University of Texas. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Oct. 10 on whether the university’s race-conscious admissions practices violate the Constitution. UNC filed an amicus brief, which referred to UNC research on the positive impact of diversity in law school, on the case Aug. 9.
Panelists will include John Charles “Jack” Boger ’74, dean and Wade Edwards Distinguished Professor of Law; Charles Edward Daye, Henry Brandis Professor of Law and deputy director of the UNC Center for Civil Rights; and Mark Dorosin ’94, senior managing attorney, and Elizabeth M. Haddix ’98, staff attorney, both at the center.
Boger, Dorosin and Haddix are the co-authors of the amicus brief, and Daye is the lead researcher of the 10-year diversity study.
“The UNC brief argues that some limited use of race as part of a holistic admissions system strengthens the excellence of the student body and better prepares students to lead in their respective fields after graduation,” Boger says.
In the Fisher case, undergraduate Abigail Fisher asks that the court either declare the admissions policy inconsistent with, or entirely overrule, Grutter v. Bollinger. In Grutter the Supreme Court ruled that race could play a limited role in university admissions policies. Overruling Grutter could end affirmative action admissions policies at U.S. public universities.
Each year on Sept. 17, pursuant to a 2004 federal statute, U.S. schools and colleges take time to celebrate and commemorate the day on which the U.S. Constitution was signed.
“The discussion on Sept. 17 will give students the chance to hear firsthand about a crucial issue for all of higher education, which the Supreme Court will address and decide by next spring,” Boger says. Review the Constitution and Amendments at www.constitutionday.com.
-September 11, 2012