Home>Articles>AG Ford Joins Coalition of Attorneys to Fight For DEI Efforts and Programs

Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford (Photo: @AaronDFord)

AG Ford Joins Coalition of Attorneys to Fight For DEI Efforts and Programs

Ford: ‘DEI programs are an important step toward remediating racial inequities’

By Megan Barth, June 20, 2024 4:15 pm

This afternoon, Attorney General Aaron Ford (D-NV) announced he has joined yet another coalition of attorneys general to “refute baseless attacks on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts and programs.” This latest effort is led by Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul in issuing a letter (see below) to the American Bar Association (ABA), Fortune 100 company CEOs and other leaders in response to one sent to the ABA by another group of attorneys general on June 3.

“The ongoing, unwarranted attacks on DEI initiatives in this country are based on legal falsehoods and efforts to intimidate companies and organizations into disregarding diversity and equality,” said AG Ford. “DEI programs are an important step toward remediating racial inequities, and efforts to dismantle these programs are based on disingenuous arguments at best and outright maliciousness at worst.”

AG Ford celebrates President Joe Biden’s victory in the Nevada Primary (Photo: AG Ford)

The coalition alleges that the group of attorneys general are “falsely claiming that the ABA’s standard on diversity and inclusion violates the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Students for Fair Admissions Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College (SFFA).” They additionally contend that challengers of DEI initiatives and programs are using “intimidation and phony legal challenges” to dismantle “broader programs aimed at reducing racial inequities.”

The U.S. Supreme Court handed down the ruling in a 6-3 decision on June 29, 2023, rejecting the use of race as a factor in college admissions and finding that affirmative action is a violation of the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause.

Justice Clarence Thomas noted in his concurring opinion; “Those policies fly in the face of our colorblind Constitution and our Nation’s equality ideal. In short, they are plainly—and boldly—unconstitutional…While I am painfully aware of the social and economic ravages which have befallen my race and all who suffer discrimination, I hold out enduring hope that this country will live up to its principles so clearly enunciated in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States: that all men are created equal, are equal citizens, and must be treated equally before the law.”

After this ruling, Ford announced that he, along with a group of 20 other attorneys general, had sent a letter to the CEOs of Fortune 100 companies assuring them that diversity and inclusion efforts are lawful and protected.

In today’s letter, AG Ford and the coalition note that the ABA standard’s requirement that law schools provide “full opportunities to the study of law and entry into the profession by members of underrepresented groups, particularly racial and ethnic minorities, is something schools must already do under the U.S. Constitution and anti-discrimination statutes.”  The standard, therefore, “does not require that law schools make admissions decisions based on race or ethnicity and, in fact, does not mention admissions at all.”

The coalition cites that companies who have diverse leadership tams score higher on “social and environmental impact scores” and show average 27 percent financial advantage over companies that are less racially diverse. The letter refers to “recent” studies, but lacks citation.

In addition, the attorneys general note more than half of consumers believe companies that issue a statement supporting racial justice must follow up with concrete action. “In fact, 70 percent of consumers want to know what the brands they support are doing to address social issues. In addition, 78 percent of adults in the United States support businesses taking active steps to ensure that companies reflect the diversity of the American population,” the letter concludes.

Joining AG Ford in signing the letter led by Illinois are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

June 20 2024 AG Letter to ABA and Fortune 100 Companies
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Megan Barth
Spread the news:


One thought on “AG Ford Joins Coalition of Attorneys to Fight For DEI Efforts and Programs

  1. Another fine African-American “activist”. I never was an African-American “activist”. But I do hope to be one someday….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *