On August 1, 2022, Kaplan Hecker & Fink attorneys, along with co-counsel Professor Tiffany Atkins of Elon University Law School, filed an amicus brief in the US Supreme Court on behalf of Black Women Law Scholars in Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard College (No. 20-1199) and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina, et al. (No. 21-707). 

In both cases, Petitioner Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. invites the Court to overturn decades of precedent upholding the constitutionality of race-conscious admissions programs in educational institutions. Our brief urges the Court to reject that invitation. As we explain in our brief, race-conscious admissions programs are constitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment because they are a necessary means of “remedying the effects of past intentional discrimination” against Black people and other historically excluded groups. Parents Involved in Cmty. Schs. v. Seattle Sch. Dist. No. 1, 551 U.S. 701, 720 (2007). In support of that argument, we explain why history—in particular, the contributions made by Black people in shaping the country’s education system after the Civil War—cuts firmly against Petitioner’s call to overrule precedent. 

Throughout the brief, we elevate the voices and scholarship of Black women legal scholars, all of whom have decades of experience and knowledge about the importance and value of race-conscious admissions programs. 

This amicus brief—which was signed by 34 extraordinary Black women law professors (including five Law School Deans)—reflects Kaplan Hecker’s continued commitment to advocating for racial equity and justice. 

The Kaplan Hecker team was led by partners Ray Tolentino and Joshua Matz, and included associates Elizabeth Slater, Jeffrey Then, and Nabihah Maqbool. 

Read the full brief here.