Court Upholds UT’s Right To Consider Race In Admissions

The latest tussle in the long legal tug-of-war over affirmative action has upheld UT’s right to consider race in admissions—at least for now.

In a 9-7 vote last Friday, the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled not to review the appeal of Abigail Fisher and Rachel Michalewicz, two plaintiffs who were denied admission to UT. Fisher and Michalewicz, who are white, contend that UT’s consideration of race in admissions decisions violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

Judge Edith Jones wrote the dissenting opinion, in which she argued that the state-mandated automatic admission law, or “Top 10 Percent Law,” already fosters a diverse student body. In comparison with the automatic admits, Jones wrote, “The additional diversity contribution of the University’s race-conscious admissions program is tiny.”

There is now a chance that the Supreme Court will hear the case, as the Chronicle of Higher Education reported.

Confused about how this latest decision fits into the many court rulings that have affected UT admissions? Here’s a timeline of landmark affirmative action rulings.


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