Howard University

Howard Law School Files Brief in
Fisher v. University of Texas

Howard Law School Files Brief in Fisher v. University of Texas

On Tuesday, August 14, 2012, Howard law professors Lisa Crooms-Robinson, Aderson B. Francois, and Ajmel Quereshi along with law students Daniel Jones, class of 2013, and Shane Poole, class of 2013, filed an amicus brief in support of the University of Texas, in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, et. al. The affirmative action case stems from a lawsuit filed by Abigail Noel Fisher, a white student who was denied admission to the University of Texas in 2008 because of her race.

Howard University School of Law’s brief is rooted in the First Amendment which provides that, within constitutional limits, a university has discretion in determining who can teach, what can be taught, how it can be taught, and who can be admitted to study. “When, as is the case for the University of Texas at Austin, an institution which takes race into account as part of a good faith effort at achieving diversity,“ said the professors and students, “for the sake of academic autonomy and out of respect for its expertise, its decision deserves judicial deference.”

Professor Francois, who is the counsel of record on the brief, said that Howard University School of Law is one of only a handful of law schools who have filed briefs so far. More than half of the law school faculty and the Clinical Law Center joined as amici curiae. And according to SCOTUS Blog, a Web site which monitors the activities of the United States Supreme Court, dozens of other organizations filed briefs in support of both sides. The case will be heard by the Supreme Court on October 10, 2012.

“This is the first Supreme Court case on affirmative action in almost ten years,” said Howard University School of Law’s Okianer Christian Dark, who also signed onto the brief. “And it’s imperative that we be vigilant against all attacks on affirmative action,” she said.

To read the law school brief, click on the link below.


updated: August 21, 2012