Supreme Court To Hear Oral Arguments on Race in Admissions

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments for Fisher v. The University of Texas, which challenges the consideration of race in UT admissions, on Oct. 10. The court’s newest justice, Elena Kagan, has recused herself from hearing the case.

The case’s appearance before the nation’s highest court is a long time coming. Abigail Fisher of Sugar Land, Texas, was denied admission to the University back in 2008. She went on to attend LSU, but UT hadn’t heard the last of her.

She sued the University, arguing the consideration of race in admissions was unconstitutional. Because Fisher wasn’t in the top 10 percent of her class, she was ineligible for automatic admission. Her application then underwent a holistic review process—one that takes into account race—and was denied. Fisher argues that, had she not been white, she would have been admitted.

UT adopted the use of race in admissions after 2003’s Grutter v. Bollinger decision, which upheld the use of race in admissions at the University of Michigan law school. But the Supreme Court has changed considerably since then, and many Supreme Court observers believe the Court may well reverse its previous decision.

In the March|April issue of The Alcalde, we convened a roundtable on the larger issue of race in admissions, in light of this high-profile challenge to the University’s own policies. Participants included UT’s director of admissions, VP of diversity and community engagement, professors, philanthropists, and alumni. Read a transcript of the candid, challenging, and inspiring things they had to say here.

Editor’s Note: The Texas Exes has no position on the use of race in admissions.


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