The US Supreme Court affirmed the Fifth Circuit’s opinion in the Fisher v. Texas case, ruling that t
he “race-conscious admissions program in use at the time of Fisher’s application is lawful under the Equal Protection Clause” of the Fourteenth Amendment.
The court ruled 4-3 in Texas’ favour. Elena Kagan recused herself from the case.
Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin (UT) argued whether considering race as one of the factors in its admissions policy was constitutional.
Abigail Fisher, a white woman named denied admission to the Texas’ flagship public university in 2008, claimed her race played a factor in her rejection, and that UT accepted less-qualified nonwhite students.
Experts watching the case have argued that the outcome could have far-reaching impact on the ability of universities around the US to consider race in admissions.
The justices, however, made it clear that the decision wasn’t a broad-brush support of affirmative action and that decisions on legal policies would still be made on a case-by-case basis.
“The Court’s affirmance of the University’s admissions policy today does not necessarily mean the University may rely on that same policy without refinement. It is the University’s ongoing obligation to engage in constant deliberation and continued reflection regarding its admission policies.”
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