RICHMOND, Va. (WDVM) — Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares filed a brief in the Supreme Court and was joined by 15 other Attorneys General, opposing an admission process at Thomas Jefferson High School (TJ) that he calls discriminatory.

Miyares announced Tuesday that he is leading an amicus brief in the United States Supreme Court against the admissions process at TJ in Fairfax, Virginia.

TJ is a state-charted STEM magnet school in Fairfax County, Virginia. It has consistently been ranked the number one public high school in the country. Up until last year, the school used a merit-based admissions process to select students.

Asian Americans represent 70% of the student body at TJ. In an effort to align TJ’s student body with the racial composition of the surrounding region, TJ abandoned its previous merit-based admissions system and adopted a new system designed to dramatically reduce the number of Asian-American students who attend TJ.

Many said that this policy targeted Asian-American students because of their race. Later communications between members of the Board confirmed the discriminatory purpose of this policy change.

“Right now, there are innocent Virginians unfairly treated and punished not for anything they’ve done, but because of who they are. Thomas Jefferson High School’s new admissions process is state-sanctioned bigotry – it’s wrong, and it’s the exact opposite of equality. As Attorney General, I’ll never stop fighting for the equal treatment and protection of all Virginians,” said Miyares.

After reviewing the evidence, a federal judge determined that this new admissions policy was a discriminatory act of racial balancing and issued an injunction ordering the Board to stop using this policy immediately, but a federal appellate court temporarily put the lower court’s order on hold.

This amicus brief urges the Supreme Court to lift the appellate court’s order and require that the Board immediately stop discriminating on the basis of race.  

The amicus brief was filed by Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares and signed by Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.