students file brief with Supreme Court
of Law Margaret Montoya, with current and former UNM School
of Law students, filed an amicus brief in the current U.S. Supreme
Court case Grutter v. Bollinger challenging affirmative action
was filed Feb. 19 by local attorney Edward Benavidez, Counsel
of Record, and recent UNM School of Law graduates David Urias
and Ernestina Cruz for the New Mexico Hispanic Bar Association,
New Mexico Black Lawyers Association and New Mexico Indian Bar
Association in support of University of Michigan respondents.
is very important that UNM be involved in the public debate
about this public policy, Montoya said. The UNM
law school has long been a model for how affirmative action
policies can be used responsibly.
enrolled in a course Montoya taught fall semester were brought
into the national debate to benefit both their educations and
the community, Montoya said.
UNM students Samantha Adams and Julie Sakura wrote significant
portions of the brief and Anita Sanchez contributed to research.
The brief will be published in the Berkeley La Raza Law Review
with Adams and Sakura as primary authors.
students are now involved in one of the most important Supreme
Court cases to be decided in this half century, she said.
students formed the Admissions Policy Project and also recently
hosted a panel discussion and day at the state legislature to
inform the public about the case.
three distinct sovereignties - federal, state and 22 Native
American governments - pose unique challenges for higher education,
the brief argues.
agree [as Justice Powell held in the Bakke case] that taking
race into account as one factor in the evaluation of students
for admission to study in institutions of higher education with
the purpose of creating a diverse learning environment is a
compelling state interest, the brief states.
the use of race-sensitive admissions procedures would adversely
New Mexicos compelling and constitutionally
valid interest in assuring competent legal services for underserved
populations, it states.
authors argue that UNM School of Laws race conscious admissions
process transformed the racial composition of the New Mexico