The Supreme Court has reached a decision in the case of Abigail Fisher, a young woman who challenged the University of Texas at Austin’s admission policy after being rejected by the school in 2008.
According to The New York Times, SCOTUS upheld the university’s affirmative action program in a ruling of 4-3, reaffirming that its race-conscious admission policy does not violate the Equal Protection Clause.
Texas law guarantees admission to the university for students in top 10 percent of the graduation class of any Texas high school, though this was not the part of the admissions program that was being questioned. To fill the remaining seats, which is about one-fourth of each freshman class, according to NBC News, the school takes other factors into consideration, including race, which Fisher said, “disadvantaged her and other Caucasian applicants.”
“A university is in large part defined by those intangible ‘qualities which are incapable of objective measurement but which make for greatness,’” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote. “Considerable deference is owed to a university in defining those intangible characteristics, like student body diversity, that are central to its identity and educational mission.”
As this Court has said, enrolling a diverse student body “promotes cross-racial understanding, helps to break down racial stereotypes, and enables students to better understand persons of different races.” Equally important: “Student body diversity promotes learning outcomes, and better prepares students for an increasingly diverse workforce and society.”
According to The New York Times, Latino students accounted for 26 percent of incoming freshman at University of Texas at Austin in 2011, while black students represented just 6 percent.
What do you think of the SCOTUS ruling at UT?
- 0% I think this is a big win for minority students.
- 0% I think affirmative action is outdated and does more harm than good.