Georgetown leads Catholic colleges and universities to file Supreme Court brief for affirmative action


Like many secular colleges and universities, Catholic colleges and universities may consider race and ethnicity as a factor in a holistic and individualized review of student applications, brief status, including academic and extracurricular achievements, their geographic, cultural and religious origins, socio-economic status and racial and ethnic identities.

This consideration, the brief points out, provides educational opportunities for talented students from underrepresented communities, helps expose students to diverse backgrounds in their classroom, and produces diverse classes of graduates who can advance Catholic values ​​and ideals.

Advance academic and religious missions

The brief outlines the substantial impact that Catholic college undergraduates and graduates – who number more than 850,000 – are making around the world in government, business, education, organizations non-profit and with a commitment to community service and the common good.

To help shape future leaders dedicated to the common good, the brief states that Catholic colleges and universities seek to create diverse and inclusive learning environments that “promote exposure to new ways of thinking and new perspectives on the world – in classrooms, over meals, on sports. fields, after rehearsals, and in campus church groups and other student communities. As a crucial part of their efforts, Catholic colleges and universities strive to admit and educate groups of students of diverse races.

“Creating equitable, inclusive and diverse communities that enhance our learning environments is central to our commitment to academic excellence and to our identity as a Jesuit Catholic university,” said Rosemary Kilkenny, Vice President for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Director of Diversity. . “It is important for us as Catholic higher education institutions to reinforce together how crucial racially diverse admissions and resulting classroom settings are to our continued missions.”

The dissertation also emphasized that this commitment to the diversity of the student body is not just an academic mission, but a fundamental Catholic belief and teaching.

“The education students receive in a diverse environment promotes Catholic values ​​of universal human dignity and respect for divine creation, and in turn creates alumni equipped to contribute to Catholic goals of leadership in service,” indicates memory.

Constitutional principles

In its conclusion, the brief notes that racially diverse admissions are based on the free exercise clause of the First Amendment, which has long protected decisions of religious institutions related to student education.

Retaining academic judgment and discretion in choosing their class fulfills their religious missions, the brief states.

friends‘s core Catholic values ​​and teachings inform their commitment to valuing the whole person’s identity in admissions and to composing a student body that upon graduation will promote the Catholic mission of the common good and service to others, especially the poor and underserved,” the brief reads. “Georgetown’s mission is to educate women and men to be thoughtful lifelong learners, to be responsible and active participants in civic life, and to live generously in service to others. The inclusion of a wide range of students of diverse racial and ethnic identities advances not only the educational but also the spiritual goals of Catholic institutions.

The Supreme Court is expected to hear both cases after they begin their terms in October.

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