Supreme Court to Reconsider Affirmative Action


Last month the Supreme Court said it would reconsider the affirmative action case in which public universities admit students.
The court will hear a white student’s claims that the race-conscious admission policy for the University of Texas cost her a spot in the freshman class. The case will be heard in October, which could make it an issue of topic during the presidential fall election.
The court has agreed to hear the case of a white student from Texas who was refused admission. The ruling in the case would likely overturn the court’s 2003 decision, in which the University of Michigan was the defendant. The lawsuit was filed on the premise that students were refused entry in the undergraduate programs at the University of Michigan based upon their race, not their academic records. The plaintiffs lost their case, which was given the opinion by then Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Colleges and universities were still allowed to consider race in admissions under a holistic fashion.
In the current case, Abigail Fisher is suing the University of Texas because they denied her admission, she feels, based upon her race. If her case is heard and the current ruling is overturned, then former Justice O’Connor’s ruling that “diversity fosters cross-racial harmony and cultivates leaders” would be ruled out in admission policies.
Fisher was put into a pool of general admission which would allow race to play a role in the entry process into public institutions in Texas and she sued the university in 2008. Although she is set to graduate from Louisiana State University, her argument has been the university’s race-neutral policy ruled her out.
Critics of the law complain that there is no strong link between academic and racial diversity. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbids racial discrimination in programs that receive federal money. If this law were overturned then public colleges and universities would not have to use race to admit students, which would mean private institutions would likely follow suit.
Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr. has previously stated that he is not found of government programs considering race, with Justice’s Samuel Alito, Jr., Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas agreeing with his stance.
The Supreme Court will hear the case this fall.


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