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Congresswoman Clarke’s Statement on Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action

Brooklyn, N.Y. – Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement on the Supreme Court’s decision in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, which upheld the state’s decision to prohibit affirmative action programs in college admissions, employment with the government, and in contracting.

“Yesterday’s Supreme Court decision in the case of Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action was yet another setback in our nations progress. I am deeply disappointed that the Supreme Court has decided to substitute its preferences for the decisions of college administrators in Michigan. Along with our leaders in business and the military, these administrators believe that affirmative action programs are an effective means for these institutions, that value the virtues of diversity, to create a diverse class of graduates with the ability to succeed to a diverse world,” said Congresswoman Clarke.

“In recent years, the conservative sway of the Supreme Court has developed a disturbing pattern of dismantling the history of case law that was established to protect the rights of the minority from the excesses and abuse of the majority through our nations laws. Hard fought decisions that were won to acknowledge and establish human rights, dignity and equity in accommodation are a reflection of the progress we’ve made towards justice and at the core of who we are as a nation. These laws litigated and established by Charles Hamilton Houston, Justice Thurgood Marshall, and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund – established the principles of equality in practice. It was only last year that the Supreme Court eliminated sections of the Voting Rights Act. Today, it is affirmative action. What will it be tomorrow? It is clear, that for some in this day and time, human rights are negotiable. I beg to differ. We cannot allow this legacy to disappear. We cannot accept the status quo of the day. We must vote as though our lives depend on it. Indeed it does.”

U.S. Representative Yvette D. Clarke is a member of the House Committee on Small Business, Ethics, and Homeland Security, where she is the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies. She represents many neighborhoods in central and southern Brooklyn, NY which include Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Gerritsen Beach, Madison, Midwood, parts of Park Slope and Flatlands, Prospect Heights, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Sheepshead Bay, and Windsor Terrace.