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Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring
Attorney General

202 North Ninth Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219


For media inquiries only, contact:  
Michael Kelly, Director of Communications
Phone: (804)786-5874 
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~ On today's U.S. Supreme Court rulings ~

RICHMOND (June 23, 2016)--Attorney General Mark R. Herring issued the following statement today on the U.S. Supreme Court's decisions in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin and U.S. v. Texas. The Commonwealth of Virginia joined an amicus brief on the prevailing side in Fisher, and a brief in U.S. v. Texas in favor of lifting a lower court's stay on certain immigration programs. The lower court's ruling was affirmed by default due to a 4-4 tie created by Senate Republicans' unprecedented refusal to even consider the President's Supreme Court nomination.


"Virginia's public colleges, universities, and community colleges have been instrumental to the growth and diversification of our economy over the last 40 years, and in providing accomplished students, including those from minority communities and students of modest means, an opportunity to pursue a college education and contribute to our Commonwealth's growth and success. This decision has provided additional clarity for colleges and universities in Virginia and throughout the country about the tools at their disposal for building inclusive academic communities where opportunity and the benefits of higher education are broadly shared.


"Unfortunately, we also saw today the dysfunction forced on the Court by Senate Republicans' obstruction on Judge Garland's nomination. A 4-4 tie on President Obama's immigration program leaves millions in limbo, leaves important legal questions unanswered, and puts us no closer to making any improvements to our broken immigration system. Virginia and more than a dozen fellow states joined this case because the President's targeted, commonsense reforms can offer Virginia real economic, public safety, and social benefits as more workers come out of the shadows, as trust grows between law enforcement and immigrant communities, and as families remain intact. Because of today's deadlock, millions of children who are either American citizens or lawfully present under the 2012 DACA program will continue to live in fear that a parent could be deported at any time. Millions of hardworking immigrants who have been working, paying taxes, and contributing to their communities for years or decades will remain in the shadows, fearful that they could be torn away from their family at any moment. As the case continues to work its way through the federal court system, our coalition will make the case that these lawful, targeted reforms are the best way forward in the face of inexplicable and prolonged congressional inaction."


During his term, Attorney General Herring has written amicus briefs in the circuits of the U.S. Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court successfully arguing for marriage equality, Virginians' right to access affordable healthcare, and the Commonwealth's right to work cooperatively with state and federal partners to clean up the Chesapeake Bay. He has also joined briefs successfully arguing for the constitutionality of nonpartisan redistricting, protecting the one-person, one-vote principle, fighting housing discrimination, and more.


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