New York Attorney General Letitia James is backing an amicus brief that opposes an effort to bar colleges and universities from considering race or ethnicity in the admissions process. 

The brief was backed by a coalition of 20 attorneys general across the country and comes as the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hear arguments in Students For Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President & Fellows of Harvard College and Students For Fair Admissions, Inc v. University of North Carolina, which is challenging admissions processes. 

“Diversity is one of our great strengths, as New Yorkers and as Americans,” James said. “Efforts to undo the strides we’ve made in encouraging greater diversity in our educational institutions must be confronted with all of our might. Diversity at higher educational institutions leads to a more diverse workforce and a stronger, more prosperous, more equitable society. I am proud to join with attorneys general from throughout the nation to stand up for educational opportunities for all students, especially those from traditionally under-represented communities.”

The brief points to the role diversity can play in higher education and when a state has a diverse array of graduates that join the workforce, including health care for communities that are underserved. 

At the same time, the brief also points to the role of diversity for primary school teachers and educators being able to improve outcomes for public school students and college attendance.