Apple, GE and other big US companies ask Supreme Court to uphold affirmative action

More than 80 major US companies that employ tens of thousands of American workers are asking the Supreme Court to uphold the use of race as a factor in college admissions, calling affirmative action essential to build a hand -diversified workforce and, therefore, increase profits.

The companies – among the most prominent and successful in the US economy – laid out their position in legal briefs filed Monday ahead of oral argument this fall in a pair of cases that are expected to determine the future of politics based on the race.

The companies told the court that they rely on universities to cultivate racially diverse student populations, which in turn generates pools of diverse and highly skilled job candidates who can meet their company’s needs and of their customers.

“The government’s interest in promoting a diverse student body on college campuses remains compelling from a business perspective,” the companies wrote in an amicus, or friend of the court, brief. “Interest in promoting the diversity of the student body in American universities has, on the contrary, grown in importance.”

Signatories include American Express, United and American Airlines, Apple, Intel, Bayer, General Electric, Kraft Heinz, Microsoft, Verizon, Procter & Gamble and Starbucks.

Citing data and research on a rapidly diversifying America, the companies said race-based diversity initiatives go beyond what many call a moral imperative and essential to their bottom line.

“To prohibit universities across the country from considering race among other factors in the composition of the student body would undermine corporate efforts to build a diverse workforce,” they said.

The Supreme Court is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 14, 2022.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Eight of America’s top science and technology companies, including DuPont and Gilead Sciences, filed a separate brief outlining their views on the importance of racially diverse campuses for cultivating the best future innovators.

“If universities aren’t growing a diverse student body, then they’re not growing many of the best,” they wrote, urging the court not to overturn the affirmative action. “Today’s markets require capitalizing on the racial and other diversity among us… These efforts, in turn, contribute to the broader health of our country’s economy.”

In a series of decisions beginning in 1978, the High Court found that race can be used as one of several factors when considering university applications, but a school cannot use quotas or mathematical formulas to diversify a class.

“In order to cultivate a cadre of legitimate leaders in the eyes of the citizens, it is necessary that the path to leadership be visibly open to talented and qualified individuals of all races and ethnicities,” Judge Sandra Day O’Connor wrote in her opinion. of 2003 in Grutter v. Bollinger.

A group of conservative students challenging the use of race as an undergraduate admissions factor at Harvard University, the nation’s oldest private college, and the University of North Carolina, the oldest university of State in the country, is asking the court to overturn this precedent.

The group, Students for Fair Admissions, alleges that Asian American applicants were unlawfully targeted by Harvard and rejected at a disproportionate rate, in violation of Supreme Court precedent and students’ constitutional rights.

Two lower federal courts denied those claims.

The fact that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the cases is widely seen as an indication that the justices may be willing to revisit their affirmative action precedents and end the use of racial classifications in admissions.

It will be the first test on the issue for the court’s six-to-three conservative majority, following the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy and the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who both defended racially conscious confessions. .

Leave a Comment