Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi Statement on Affirmative Action Case Before Supreme Court

April 1, 2003

Washington, D.C. -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi issued the following statement today on the University of Michigan affirmative action case being heard today by the Supreme Court:

"Inside the Supreme Court today, the Justices are hearing oral arguments on the constitutionality of the University of Michigan’s affirmative action policies. Outside the Supreme Court, Americans from all walks of life are rallying in support of affirmative action.

"High school and college students from around the country organized today’s 'Civil Rights March to the Supreme Court.' I commend these energetic young people for their hard work and their dedication to an America in which every child has the opportunity to reach his or her full potential.

"Race and poverty, together or separately, too often set up insurmountable barriers to Americans who seek to better their lives and contribute to society. Affirmative action in education gives students a ladder to climb over the barriers to opportunity. Unfortunately, in arguing against the Michigan program, the Bush Administration seeks to haul that ladder away.

"The importance of diversity in higher education cannot be overestimated. We need to give every American the opportunity to realize the American Dream and to support programs that give every student the opportunity to succeed. We must ensure that America remains a land of opportunity.

"We look to the Supreme Court to act wisely in the Michigan case and uphold affirmative action."


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