Monday, February 27, 2012

Supreme Court Takes Up Challenge to Race-Conscious Admissions at U. of Texas

The Chronicle of Higher Education
February 21, 2012
By Peter Schmidt


[Updated at 3:49 p.m. with additional reaction.]

The U.S. Supreme Court announced on Tuesday that it would take up a lawsuit challenging race-conscious admissions at the University of Texas, setting the stage for it to reconsider affirmative-action policies that it had ruled constitutional in 2003, before its composition significantly changed.

The case, Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin (No. 11-345), involves an appeal of a decision last year by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit that upheld the race-conscious admissions policies of the chief undergraduate program at the University of Texas at Austin. Among the key questions in the case is whether the university was constitutionally precluded from considering applicants' race or ethnicity because it could achieve diversity in a race-neutral manner, through a state law guaranteeing students in the top 10th of their high-school classes admission to any public college in the state.

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