Supreme Court dodges affirmative action decision!

The U.S. Supreme Court dodged the issue of admissions based on affirmative action at the University of Texas in Austin, which allows discrimination in at least 25% of its openings by giving preference to students based on their race, ethnicity and other nonacademic standards in the name of increasing diversity .


The high court ordered the appeals court to take another look at the case of Abigail Fisher, a white Texan who was not offered a spot at the university’s flagship Austin campus in 2008. Fisher has since received her undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University.

But the decision did not question the underpinnings of affirmative action, which the high court last reaffirmed in 2003.

Kennedy said that courts must determine that the use of race is necessary to achieve the educational benefits of diversity, the Supreme Court’s standard for affirmative action in education since 1978.

The high court most recently reaffirmed the constitutionality of affirmative action in Grutter v. Bollinger in 2003, a case involving the University of Michigan.

University of Texas president Bill Powers said the university plans no immediate changes in its admissions policies as a result of Monday’s ruling and will continue to defend them in the courts.

Texas used to offer 75% of its admission openings to the top 10% of graduating classes under a state law signed by then Governor George W Bush. The university has since raised the standard to the top 8% that automatically gain admission – thus lowering the number of spots taken by high achieving students.


Race is a factor in filling out the rest of the incoming class. More than 8 in 10 African-American and Latino students who enrolled at the flagship campus in Austin in 2011 were automatically admitted, according to university statistics.

So, the University of Texas will be allowed to continue its admittance discrimination of students based on diversity vs. academic achievement until the case is finally resolved.