For Immediate Release: Date: June 29, 2023
Contact: Rahat N. Babar, Deputy Executive Director for Policy
WASHINGTON – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (“NAPABA”) is disappointed in the United States Supreme Court’s decision today in Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina, which held that the consideration of race, as one factor among many in a holistic college admissions process, violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. With colleges and universities acting as incubators for the future leaders of the Nation, the decision now places an obstacle to achieving diversity, equity, and inclusion in the pipelines of leadership.
As detailed in A Portrait of Asian Americans in the Law 2.0: Identity and Action in Challenging Times (Portrait Project 2.0) published by the American Bar Foundation and NAPABA, we know that though the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander community has seen progress in some areas, underrepresentation of our community in the top ranks of the legal profession persists. Portrait Project 2.0, along with NAPABA’s amicus brief with the Court, highlighted the continuing need to advance diversity efforts in the legal profession, where the AANHPI community, along with all communities of color, struggle to achieve success.
At bottom, the Court’s decision today places an impediment to efforts to diversify the legal pipeline at its early stages, the college admissions process. Despite the ruling, NAPABA remains committed to its long-standing values. Whether advancing our leadership and mentorship programs, working with the private sector, government, and public interest stakeholders, or through our partnership with the law student community, NAPABA remains acutely focused to ensure that the profession and leadership reflect the communities that they serve and that the AANHPI community is meaningfully represented.
The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), represents the interests of over 60,000 Asian Pacific American (APA) legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local APA bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities. Through its national network, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of all backgrounds