Court Sides with California State University Admissions Policy

Court Sides with California State University Admissions Policy


A state appeals court dismissed a student’s lawsuit against the California State University system that alleged the university discriminated against Hispanics by considering SAT scores as a factor in admissions.

The 2nd District Court of Appeals in Ventura also dismissed allegations that CSU’s policy of giving admissions preference to students who live near California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo discriminated against minorities.

The case, Garcia v. California State University Trustees, was brought by Rita Garcia, who did not win admission to Cal Poly in 2002. Her suit, which other students who had been denied admission joined as co-plaintiffs, cited a 2001 state law that prohibits programs run or funded by the state from discriminating or denying equal access.

But the appeals court said in its 3-0 ruling that a conflicting law bars new regulations governing state agencies from applying to the Cal State system unless it is explicitly included. The anti-discrimination law in question did not mention the CSU system.

Writing for the panel, Presiding Justice Arthur Gilbert suggested the university may have been left out of the 2001 law because of a drafting error and said, “We leave it to the Legislature” to correct the possible omission.

Victor Viramontes, a lawyer for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said the plaintiffs may appeal the ruling to California Supreme Court.

Associated Press

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