The U.S. Supreme Court will consider whether affirmative action could be a factor in college admissions, after announcing that it is about to think about a case involving the University of Texas at Austin — a school that said it based its admissions policy with an earlier ruling about racial diversity in advanced schooling, writes Robert Barnes in the Washington Post.
The court is placed to rehear a?white student\’s claims?that she missed out on a location at the University of Texas because of the university\’s race-conscious admissions policy, after it had been ruled nine years back that school administrators were able to take race into account as one of many factors in considering applicants.
Critics of the policy hope the current court will eradicate affirmative action, or further restrict its use. The current court is considerably more conservative than the one that made the 2003 decision, and Edward Blum, director of the Project on Fair Representation, which is representing Abigail Noel Fisher, a student rejected by UT, said:
The case \”presents the court with an chance to clarify the boundaries of race preferences in higher education or even reconsider whether race should be permitted whatsoever under the Constitution\’s guarantee of equal protection.\”
However, university of Texas President Bill Powers said:
\”We should have the flexibility to think about each applicant\’s unique experiences and background therefore we can provide the very best environment in which to educate and train the scholars who will be our nation\’s future leaders.\”
Yet, a broad ruling in support of the student, Abigail Fisher, could threaten affirmative action programs at many of the nation’s public and private universities, writes Pete Williams at NBC News.
Erwin Chemerinsky, a constitutional law scholar and dean from the University of California Irvine’s law school, has called?the Fisher case “potentially momentous.”
Pacific Legal Foundation urged the final Court to take the case inside a friend-of-the-court brief, and known as the announcement “great news for everyone who believes in equal rights and equal opportunities.\”
PLF attorney Joshua P. Thompson said:
\”Using race in admissions decisions, to attain diversity, amounts to stereotyping people by their race.
\”In the real world, shared skin tone does not automatically result in shared backgrounds or beliefs.? Racial diversity inside a student body does not guarantee a diversity of expertise and perspectives.? It is unrealistic and wrong to try to pigeon-hole people by their race.”
A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit?upheld the Texas plan, but a number of high-profile conservative judges in the circuit loudly objected and urged the high court to think about the case, writes Barnes.
After the 2003 decision, Fisher enrolled at Louisiana State University and is set to graduate this year.