Opening Arguments Begin in Maryland HBCU Equity Lawsuit Trial
Opening arguments began today in the lawsuit brought by students and alumni of Maryland’s historically black colleges and universities against the State of Maryland, for what the plaintiffs regard as inequitable funding for the four institutions.
“Maryland has not eradicated the vestiges of segregation,” Michael D. Jones, a Washington attorney who represents the plaintiffs, a coalition of students and alumni from the state’s historically black universities, said during opening statements Tuesday.
Baltimore attorney Craig A. Thompson, arguing for the state, countered that historically black universities have fared well in recent budgets and that minority students have far more opportunities at all of Maryland’s public universities than they did even a few decades ago.
“The question is: Are there current state policies and practices, traceable to the segregation era, that are continuing to foster segregation in our institutions of public higher education?” Thompson said. “And the answer is no.”