Breaking News – Inside Higher Ed Affirmative Action Ruling on Fisher vs. University of Texas



BREAKING NEWS June 24, 2013


Court’s Ruling Sets Up Another Round on Affirmative     Action

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court today issued     its long-awaited ruling on affirmative action — but didn’t offer a     definitive opinion on whether colleges may consider the use of race in     admissions.

Ruling 7-1, the court found that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth     Circuit erred in not applying “strict scrutiny” to the policies     of the University of Texas at Austin. The case is Fisher     v. University of Texas at Austin, in which Abigail     Fisher, a white woman rejected for admission by the university, said that     her rights were violated by UT-Austin’s consideration of race and ethnicity     in admissions decisions. Fisher’s lawyers argued that the University of     Texas need not consider race because it has found another way to assure     diversity in the student body.

The decision said that “good faith” by     the university would not be enough to justify the consideration of race.     But the decision — by Justice Anthony Kennedy — does not offer an opinion     on whether the University of Texas can produce sufficient evidence. Rather,     it faults the appeals court for not reviewing that question using the high     bar of “strict scrutiny” for the consideration of race.

It is likely that today’s ruling could mean that —     after another round at the Fifth Circuit — the case could return to the     Supreme Court.

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