New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on behalf of 14 states is urging the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold racial preferences in college admissions.
Schneiderman says in a brief that the Constitution permits schools to consider race as one factor in policies that foster diversity.
The court's ruling will be its first on affirmative action in higher education since 2003. Arguments will be Oct. 10.
Abigail Fisher, a white student who was not admitted to the University of Texas in 2008, filed a lawsuit challenging its policy as violation of her civil and constitutional rights.
Other states joining the brief are Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia, plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.