Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Supreme Court to Hear Affirmative Action Case in University Admissions

This is awesome.

At WSJ, "Justices to Revisit Race Issue: University of Texas Admissions Policy to Be Tested Before Reshaped High Court":

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to revisit affirmative action in state-college admissions, suggesting a 2003 ruling that narrowly permitted race-conscious policies in public higher education may face tough scrutiny from today's more conservative court.

The case, which comes from the University of Texas at Austin, joins a docket already crowded with major issues, most prominently President Barack Obama's 2010 health-care overhaul, whose constitutionality will be argued next month....

The University of Texas said it based its admissions policy on the 2003 precedent, Grutter v. Bollinger. In that case, involving the University of Michigan Law School, the court by a 5-4 vote held for the first time that racial diversity in higher education qualified as a compelling governmental interest. Such a state interest is essential when a government classifies individuals by race.

The UT policy includes consideration of race as part of a "holistic" evaluation of applicants who didn't qualify for admission through either superior academic performance or a plan that grants admission to the top 10% of graduates from each Texas high school. The policy was challenged by lead plaintiff Abigail Fisher, who was denied admission to the university after applying in 2008.