SCOTUS to hear case on race based admissions

Matthew Stottlemyre

UT officials are in Washington, D.C., today for oral arguments in a Supreme Court case whose outcome will have implications for how universities can factor race into admission decisions.

Abigail Fisher sued the University in 2008, claiming its consideration of race as a factor for some students’ admission unfairly discriminated against her as a white applicant. The case has reached the Supreme Court, and the court will likely rule by the summer. Oral arguments Wednesday will include statements from attorneys representing both sides of the case and from U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr., who will represent the federal government in supporting the University’s position.

UT admits three quarters of each freshman class automatically based on high school class rank. It admits the remaining quarter under a system that considers an applicant’s race, among many other factors.
The court’s newest member, Justice Elena Kagan, has removed herself from any role in deciding the case because of her previous involvement as U.S. Solicitor General. If the remaining eight justices split the decision four to four, race-inclusive admissions will remain constitutional as the 2003 case Grutter v. Bollinger established.   

Watch The Update blog today for posts from Washington by Daily Texan reporter Andrew Messamore.