Commissioner Lesley Briones' Statements on Supreme Court Rulings

30 Jun, 23

Statement on Supreme Court decision on affirmative action:

"The Court’s decision to ban race-conscious admissions is a major erosion of the critical progress we have made to address systemic barriers faced by students of color. As a former teacher, I have witnessed how diversity of thought and perspectives fostered a collaborative learning environment for all students. We must continue to promote access to equal opportunity and diversity in higher education.”

Statement on Supreme Court ruling in favor of web designer who refused to work on same-sex wedding websites:

“The First Amendment right to free speech does not mean business owners have a right to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. And yet, the Supreme Court’s ruling gives license to do just that. This decision is a devastating blow to the protections of LGBTQIA+ people. But we will not let those who seek to take us backward win. Together, we must continue fighting to ensure that our LGBTQIA+ community and all Americans enjoy the same rights and freedoms.” 

Statement on Supreme Court decision striking down the Biden Administration's student loan forgiveness plan:

“Higher education creates opportunities and offers a broader perspective on the world. As someone who is still repaying my student loans at age 42, I understand the burden of student debt. I was not eligible for President Biden's program. Yet, I know the weight of student debt and know that I would have never been able to attend Harvard University and Yale Law School without student loans. Higher education must be accessible and affordable to all. I am deeply disappointed in the Court’s decision to further financially and emotionally burden our students. For our nation to continue thriving, we must expand access to affordable higher education and ensure equal opportunities for all.”