Appeals Court Declines to Hear Fisher Case

The latest news in the seemingly interminable lawsuit between Abigail Fisher and UT: The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals declined today to rehear the case.

Fisher, who is white, sued the university after her application for admission was rejected in 2008. The case made it to the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2013, when the justices bounced it back to a lower court. More than a year later, that court sided 2-1 with UT, and Fisher’s team promptly appealed again. Today’s denial means that the case could eventually go back to the Supreme Court for a second time.

This latest decision wasn’t unanimous: The 5th Circuit’s 15 judges voted on whether to rehear the case en banc (with all 15 judges present), with 5 for and 10 against.

In a statement, UT president Bill Powers said he was happy with the news. “We are pleased with the ruling of the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit,” Powers said. “The University of Texas at Austin is committed to maintaining a student body that provides the educational benefits of diversity while respecting the rights of all students.”

Edward Blum, who arranged the Fisher case through his Project for Fair Representation, was less pleased. “Abby Fisher and her family are disappointed with the court’s denial for a rehearing, but remember that they have been in this posture before,” he said in a statement. “This case will be appealed back to the US Supreme Court.”

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

Photo by Joe Gratz.


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