The U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition filed by the intervenors in the University’s undergraduate admissions case that requested the Court speed up the legal process toward oral arguments.
The petition asked that the filing deadline for parties responding to the intervenors’ cert petition be advanced from Nov. 15 to Nov. 2.
Ted Shaw, attorney for the intervenors in Gratz v. Bollinger, said he filed the petition in an attempt to keep the two admissions cases on as close a track as possible so they could be ruled on together.
“We knew they might not grant the motion, but we were trying anyway,” he said. “It’s not a setback.”
Shaw said he intervened in Gratz on behalf of black and Hispanic students on the side of the University in order to raise issues not included in the University’s argument.
He said the arguments made by the intervenors are specific to the use of race as a factor in admissions policies as a means of remedying the effects of past discrimination.
“If you show the context in which affirmative action arose, it’s a long history of discrimination by the University and others,” Shaw said.
He said the intervenors will have an opportunity to raise their remedial issues in front of the Supreme Court regardless of whether it grants their motion.
“Effectively, our concerns are going to get the consideration they need to get,” Shaw said.
But, he also said it would be significant if the court decides in their favor.
“If our cert petition is granted, our role in the Supreme Court is definite,” Shaw said.
While the intervenors await a response from the court, the University already filed its brief in opposition to the their petition.
“The cases are on their normal cycle,” University spokesperson Julie Peterson said. “It is only a minor impact on timing – if any.”
“It has no practical effect on the University,” she added.
Regardless, the original deadline for the Center for Individual Rights to file remains the same.
Curt Levey, director of legal and public affairs for CIR, said CIR plans to file a brief in opposition to the intervenors’ petition in which it will explain why the intervenors’ separate petition is unnecessary.
“They are asking the Supreme Court to look at a question to which an answer has already been given,” he said. “The intervenors’ claim about past discrimination would fail at the Supreme Court level – there is clear precedent there.”
Levey added that the Supreme Court’s ruling does imply that it is more focused on the diversity rationale rather than the past discrimination rationale that the intervenors have supported.
“It’s some indication that the court is going to focus on our cert petition instead of the intervenors’,” Levey said.