The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider rolling back university affirmative action programs, re-entering a racially charged debate by accepting an appeal from a rejected white applicant to the University of Texas.
The appeal takes aim at a 2003 Supreme Court decision that said universities could continue to consider the race of their applicants to help ensure campus diversity.
We will not dignify this debate by taking a position as to whether affirmative action is racially charged; moreover, hiding this and other programs under the unbrella of “diversity” is really insulting to the reader.
Universities have had the court’s blessing for affirmative action since the 1978 Regents of the University of California v. Bakke decision gave race-conscious admissions a limited endorsement. With five of the nine current justices openly skeptical about racial classifications, today’s action suggests the court at a minimum will scale back diversity programs.
Here is what is at issue: Whether a university’s use of race to grant admission violates the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection?
On September 15, 2011, Ms. Fisher filed her petition for writ of certiorari, which Mountain States Legal Foundation supported with an amicus curiae brief on October 19, 2011.
Ms. Fisher of Sugar Land, who graduated in the top 12 percent of her class, Rachel Multer and Ms. Michalewicz of Buda, who graduated in the top 11 percent of their class, applied for but were denied admission.
In April 2008, they sued the University and its officials in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in Austin, alleging that they were denied the right to compete for admission on an equal footing with minority students in violation of the Constitution’s equal protection guarantee. On August 17, 2009, the district court ruled in favor of the University of Texas based upon the Supreme Court’s holding in Grutter.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case on race-conscious admission policies in the Texas public-university system. Abigail Noel Fisher sued the University of Texas in 2008 when her application was rejected when less academically qualified minority students were accepted. Ms. Fisher argues the race-based admissions policy violated her rights under the 14th Amendment, specifically the equal protection clause which says no state shall “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
Of course we understand that Ms.Fisher at 12 percent of her class, whilst Rachel Multer and Ms. Michalewicz were in the top 11 percent. However, if the University of Texas is indeed using this as their yard stick measure, then persons of 13 percent and higher should be willing to wait rather than to be accepted under some ridiculous “diversity” constraint. Therefore hopefully one can easily see where we will not dignify this issue by weighing in such a ridiculous set of claims.