It’s been a seven-year battle but Abigail Fisher is not backing down, even though many think she is off on another futile fishing expedition. Now she faces off–or rather her lawyers do– in SCOTUS on December 9th against the University of Texas over her denial of admission in 2008. This will be the second time in two years this case has been heard. The question at hand is: “Did the university use race in an unconstitutional way in picking the freshman class in 2008, and in keeping Fisher out of that class?”
In a nutshell, the case may not give her any grand rewards, but on the other hand, could have significant impact on public universities going forward. The justices could make it unconstitutional to take race into consideration in their admissions process or at the very least “bar those institutions from considering minority students’ educational talents — or lack of them — as an admissions factor.”
Fisher still believes that she was excluded because she was white, while the university counters that her scores were not high enough so, regardless of race, she couldn’t have been accepted. This second time around in her appeal she insisted that “that the Fifth Circuit disobeyed the Supreme Court’s 2013 order to reconsider the Texas policy using a rigorous “strict scrutiny” approach. The majority in the two-to-one ruling, the new petition argued, gave the university a pass, allowing it to control the defense of the admissions program on the university’s terms, without the majority boring deeply into the actual use of race.” So, the Fifth Circuit might get another try at it with more specific guidelines, after ruling in favor of the Texas University twice.
This case could be another pivotal affirmative action case.
More details and information for this post obtained from scotus.com. Follow live blogging of cases and orders there.
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