Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Affirmative Action: Get Ready for Another Round

The U.S. Supreme Court has granted cert. to a case challenging the University of Texas’s method of affirmative action. From Bloomberg BNA:

Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin


Subject Matter:

Schools--Discrimination--Affirmative action.

Docket Number:


Latest Action:


Case History :

Filed: 09/15/2011 (80 U.S.L.W. 3144)
Review Granted:

The petition for a writ of certiorari is granted. Justice Kagan took no part in the consideration or decision of this petition.

Ruling Below: (5th Cir., 631 F.3d 213, 79 U.S.L.W. 1941)

Summary of Ruling Below: The University of Texas at Austin's affirmative action plan, modeled in light of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306, 71 U.S.L.W. 1788 (2003), is constitutional. The Supreme Court rejected the notion, presented by the United States as amicus curiae in Grutter, that facially race-neutral percentage plans, such as Texas's Top Ten Percent Law, were a workable alternative and therefore not a constitutionally mandated replacement for race-conscious admissions programs. The court appeared, however, to imply that if the state law provided a "critical mass" of minority students, then the Grutter-like program may face constitutional concerns.

Question(s) Presented: Do this Court's decisions interpreting the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, including Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306, 71 U.S.L.W. 1788 (2003), permit the University of Texas at Austin's use of race in undergraduate admissions decisions?

Attorneys: Petition for certiorari filed 9/15/11, by Bert W. Rein, William S. Consovoy, Thomas R. McCarthy, Claire J. Evans, and Wiley Rein LLP, all of Washington, D.C.

 Here is a  fuller  explanation from the SCOTUS  blog.


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