June 23, 2016

In a blow to those forces trying to destroy affirmative action, the Supreme Court ruled against Abbi Fisher's case in Texas

The case concerned the University of Texas’ idiosyncratic admissions program. Most applicants from within the state are admitted under a part of the program that guarantees admission to top students in every high school in the state. (This is often called the Top 10 Percent program, though the percentage cutoff can vary by year.)

The Top 10 Percent program has produced significant racial and ethnic diversity. In 2011, for instance, 26 percent of freshmen who enrolled under the program were Hispanic, and 6 percent were black. Texas is about 38 percent Hispanic and 12 percent black.

The case challenged a second part of the admissions program. Under it, remaining students from Texas and elsewhere are considered under standards that take into account academic achievement and other factors, including race and ethnicity. Many colleges and universities base all of their admissions decisions on such holistic grounds.

Tierney Sneed writes:

Kennedy, in his opinion, said that Fisher had failed to prove that her denial of admission amounted to a violation of the Constitution's Equal Protection clause, as she had claimed. He also said the university had a compelling interest in ensuring a level of racial diversity in the student body that enriched the educational experience.

UPDATE: In another ruling, since the court has only eight members, they were deadlocked on Obama's immigration plan: "Supreme Court blocks Obama immigration plan in 4-4 tie"

The Washington Post's Greg Sargent weighed in via twitter:

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