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A case study of the fisher v university of texas and the ten percent law

  • It's been a few days and a lot has happened since the U;
  • UT contends Fisher wouldn't have been admitted even if race wasn't a factor in the admissions process;
  • The core issue is still the same;
  • But after the Supreme Court in 2003 issued a major ruling reaffirming the partial use of race in college admissions, in the case of Grutter v;
  • But it was a greatly-anticipated ruling that basically ended with a whimper — creating a lot of confusion;
  • Arguments begin this at 3:

So What Exactly Happened with Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, the case that questions UT's use of race in its admissions process. In June, the U. Supreme Court punted the case back to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals after deciding the Fifth Circuit didn't apply the strictest scrutiny to UT's admissions policies. Back in 2008, a white student named Abigail Fisher was denied admission to UT under the holistic review.

She sued saying she was a victim of reverse discrimination. But in a 7-1 decision this summer, the U. Supreme Court said the Fifth Circuit should have used a stricter standard to determine whether UT needs to consider race and ethnicity to achieve diversity — or whether there are other ways to do that.

  • Fisher's lawyer, Edward Blum, says the 7-1 decision by the Supreme Court shows the court thinks UT Austin needs to reconsider its policies regarding race based admissions;
  • Supreme Court said the Fifth Circuit should have used a stricter standard to determine whether UT needs to consider race and ethnicity to achieve diversity — or whether there are other ways to do that;
  • Some law experts see the decision as a compromise.

UT argues the lawsuit is moot since Fisher graduated from Louisiana State University in 2012 and that Fisher would have been denied admission regardless of her race. Arguments begin this at 3: Original Story June 26, 2013: It's been a few days and a lot has happened since the U. But it was a greatly-anticipated ruling that basically ended with a whimper — creating a lot of confusion.

And the case still isn't over. What did the Supreme Court rule? The Supreme Court ruled the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has to reconsider the case — essentially punting the case to the lower court.

When the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals heard the case previously, it upheld the University of Texas at Austin's race based admissions policies. How did the justices rule? The court ruled 7-1, with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg dissenting. Justice Elena Kagen recused herself from the case. Some law experts see the decision as a compromise.

Access Check

Why send it back to the Fifth Circuit? Because the court didn't use "strict scrutiny," the Supreme Court sent it back to the Fifth Circuit to properly consider the case. In 2003, the court ruled affirmative action is a compelling state interest — something Supreme Court experts say is very rare for the court to declare. What does this mean for UT? Right now, UT says it will not change its admissions policies.

Editor

UT will continue to accept up to 75 percent of its students who graduate in the top ten percent of their class under the statewide Top Ten Percent rule. The other 25 percent will be chosen based on a variety of factors, including GPA and SAT scores, extra curricular activities, and special circumstances, which includes racial and ethnical minorities. So what exactly is the Top Ten Percent rule?

The Top Ten Percent rule is a provision that originally allowed all Texas students who graduate in the top ten percent of their graduating class to be guaranteed admission to any public university in Texas. In light of that decision, the Top Ten Percent rule aimed to create diversity at state universities. The provision was amended in 2009 at UT to accept the top eight percent of high school seniors.

That's because the university was overwhelmed with top ten percent applicants. At one point, 81 percent of UT's freshman class was accepted under that rule. Will this change affirmative action policies across the country?

So What Exactly Happened with Fisher v. University of Texas? (Update)

Bollinger, and other affirmative action cases in the past. But next term, the Supreme Court is expected to hear another case in Michigan concerning affirmative action. Who is Abigail Fisher, and why did she file a lawsuit against UT?

It's a nonprofit that was searching for a plaintiff to bring a case that would overturn affirmative action at public universities.

  • UT argues the lawsuit is moot since Fisher graduated from Louisiana State University in 2012 and that Fisher would have been denied admission regardless of her race;
  • The fact that the Court has granted review again, with no change in the policy since its last review, hints at the possibility that the Court might be content to clarify further the guidance it gave last time, and let the Fifth Circuit have another go at it;
  • Why send it back to the Fifth Circuit?
  • Lyle Denniston, Argument preview;
  • Solicitor General Donald B.

Fisher is white, and says she was rejected from UT because of her race. She did not graduate in the top 10 percent of her class, but her father and sister went to UT. She played the cello, among other activities. She attended Louisiana State University and now works in finance in Austin. UT contends Fisher wouldn't have been admitted even if race wasn't a factor in the admissions process.

So … what's next? The future lies in the hands in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Law experts say it could take a year before anything is decided. UT President Bill Powers contends the university has done that already. Fisher's lawyer, Edward Blum, says the 7-1 decision by the Supreme Court shows the court thinks UT Austin needs to reconsider its policies regarding race based admissions.