Brief of Amici Curiae Columbia University, Cornell University, Georgetown University, Rice University, and Vanderbilt University in Support of Respondents. In the Supreme Court of the United States, Barbara Grutter, Petitioner, v. Lee Bollinger, et al., Respondents. Jennifer Gratz and Patrick Hamacher, Petitioners, v. Lee Bollinger, et al., Respondents on Writs of Certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
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This legal document asserts that the judgement of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Grutter v. Bollinger (No. 02-241) and the order of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan in Gratz v. Bollinger (No. 02-516) should be affirmed. This brief, filed by five highly selective private universities in support of the University of Michigan, urges that First Amendment interests can be accommodated and Fourteenth Amendment and Title VI interests still vindicated by providing a high degree of deference to the University's good-faith determination as to how to further its academic mission. It urges specifically that when a university (especially a private university) determines that a constitutionally permissible goal--such as diversity within its student body--is essential to providing the highest quality educational experience for its students, any assessment of "narrow tailoring" as part of strict scrutiny analysis should reflect that deference. It asserts that, consistent with the First Amendment, a university's judgment about how best to implement its academic mission should not be easily ignored. (SM)