ShareThis Page
Nation

University affirmative action upheld by U.S. Supreme Court

| Thursday, June 23, 2016, 11:18 a.m.

A divided U.S. Supreme Court gave a surprise victory to affirmative action in college admissions, upholding a policy that the University of Texas says is crucial for fostering campus diversity.

The justices, voting 4-3, ruled against Abigail Fisher, a white woman who said she suffered unconstitutional discrimination when she was rejected by the school in 2008.

Opponents were hoping the court would use the case to put new limits on racial preferences in college admissions. The case divided the court along ideological lines, with Justice Anthony Kennedy joining the court's liberal wing.

The ruling came from an unusual seven-member court that was missing both Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February, and Justice Elena Kagan, who was recused because she had been involved in the litigation as an Obama administration lawyer.

The Texas policy was challenged by Fisher, a white woman who said she suffered discrimination when she was rejected by the school.

Texas has a unique hybrid admissions policy. The state's Top Ten Percent Law, enacted in 1997 in response to a court decision, requires the school to admit three-quarters of its freshman class each year solely on the basis of high school class rank.

That system, while race-neutral on the surface, ensures a significant number of minorities because it guarantees slots to students at predominantly Hispanic and black schools.

The university directly considers race as a factor only in admitting the rest of the class, adding what Texas says is an important additional component of diversity. The university's current freshman class is 22 percent Hispanic and less than 5 percent black.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me