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Supreme Court Sets Date To Hear UT-Austin Affirmative Action Lawsuit

Ryan E. Poppe
UT Clock Tower in Austin

The U.S. Supreme Court has set a date to hear oral arguments in a case that challenges universities using race as a component of their admissions policy.  In 2008, Abigail Fisher sued the University of Texas at Austin after she failed to get into UT because of what she and her attorneys label as racial discrimination.

For students like Fisher that miss the ten percent cutoff for automatic college admission, universities like UT have used a number of other qualifying factors for admission, including a person’s race.  Professor Al Kaufman specializes in constitutional law at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio.

“The Supreme Court has said courts should give a deference to universities definitions of their missions, so if universities says their mission includes having a diverse body,  that has to be respected,” Kaufman explained.

The case was appealed to the Supreme Court in 2014, after the 5th Circuit Court decided UT’s use of race for its admissions policy was constitutional.  The court will hear oral arguments for Fisher vs. University of Texas on Dec 9th.