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Supreme Court's Affirmative Action Revisit Worries Liberals

By    |   Tuesday, 30 Jun 2015 10:51 AM

The U.S. Supreme Court will consider college affirmative action for a third time since 2003 when it hears Fisher v. University of Texas-Austin next term for a second time. The justices worried liberals when they added the case on Monday, one of the last days of their session.

Abigail Fisher filed suit against the University of Texas-Austin after being rejected from the class of 2008. She claimed she had been rejected because she is white and that the school’s affirmative action policies violated her 14th Amendment equal protection rights.

 


The high court already deliberated eight months in Fisher v. the University of Texas-Austin but never established whether the school’s affirmative action policies were constitutional. Rather, the nine justices ordered a clearer standard of review and sent Fisher’s case back to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals for further deliberation. The Fifth Circuit Court later rejected the case a second time.

“They’re going to take a closer look to see if there is any justification for race-based policies, or whether there are colorblind strategies that can accomplish the same goals,” Meriem Hubbard principle attorney with the Pacific Legal Foundation, told Forbes. Her group opposes affirmative action policies, .

“I hope the justices will rule that UT is not allowed to treat undergraduate applicants differently because of their race or ethnicity,” said Fisher, per The New York Times. The decision to re-hear Fisher’s case is raising suspicion the court may rule that way.

“Over the last few days, liberals have been celebrating a string of important victories involving health care and same-sex marriage,” said Justin Driver, University of Chicago law professor. "But liberals have also been bracing themselves for the other shoe to drop. This decision to grant review means, at a minimum, that the other shoe will remain suspended in midair for the next several months.”

Proponents of affirmative action policies can't but help notice it was the court’s four most conservative justices who voted to review the case. Proponents worry that Justice Kennedy may be the fifth vote needed to do away with race-based college admission policies. In the past Kennedy has been known to advocate both for the importance of diversity on campuses and also for limited race-based policies.

In the 1978 case Hopwood v. Texas, the Fifth Circuit Court condemned admission criteria based on race but in the 2003 case Gratz v. Bollinger, the Supreme Court ruled that a “holistic” admissions review that considered race was acceptable, said Forbes.

 


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The U.S. Supreme Court will consider college affirmative action for a third time since 2003 when it hears Fisher v. University of Texas-Austin next term for a second time. The justices worried liberals when they added the case on Monday, one of the last days of their session.
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Tuesday, 30 Jun 2015 10:51 AM
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