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BREAKING!! Supreme Court To Rule On Affirmative Action

What do you think the result will be? Saw this on the news today.


Affirmative action is rarely discussed on the campaign trail, but it nevertheless is a matter of heated debate in Washington this year.

The Supreme Court today will hear an hour of arguments in the case of Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, which asks the court to rule on whether the university's consideration of race in admissions is constitutional. Abigail Fisher, a 22-year-old white woman who was rejected from UT Austin in 2008, has filed suit against the school, arguing its consideration of race doesn't meet standards previously set by the high court. If the court rules against the university, it could potentially change the way schools across the nation talk about race.

The response to Fisher's case proves that while affirmative action has been a matter of debate for decades, it remains a potent one. Dozens of individuals and organizations have given their input to the Supreme Court through amicus briefs -- 17 briefs filed to support Fisher and 73 in support of the university.

Republican Rep. Allen West, Ronald Reagan's attorney general Ed Meese and the libertarian Cato Institute all signed onto briefs backing Fisher. On the other side, the court is hearing from the likes of Democratic Senate leaders Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer, Teach for America and the American Psychological Association. Dozens of organizations in favor of the school's system plan on holding a rally outside of the Supreme Court today.

The Supreme Court set a precedent for the use of affirmative action in college admissions in 2003, when in Grutter v. Bollinger it rejected the use of racial quotas but said that schools could consider race as part of a "holistic" review of a student's application. In 2003, however, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor was the swing vote in favor of the "holistic" approach. This year, the court's balance is tipped towards conservatives.

In the arguments submitted to the court, Fisher's lawyers argue that UT Austin's admissions process fails to meet the standards set by Grutter. If the Supreme Court concludes that the university's system does meet the standards set by Grutter, then Fisher's lawyers argue that the precedent should be clarified or overruled.

CUNY School of Law Prof. Ruthann Robson, who has followed Fisher at the Constitutional Law Prof Blog, told that overruling Grutter would be a drastic move, politically speaking. By picking apart UT Austin's system, however, the court "could eviscerate Grutter without overruling it," she said.

If the court gave a critical ruling against UT Austin's system -- which already strives to consider race as a part of the "holistic" picture -- other schools would be hard pressed to defend their own consideration of race. Abigail Fisher wants college admissions to be "completely race neutral and race blind," Robson explained.

The University of Texas argues that a diverse student body is an indispensable part of training future leaders with "invaluable educational benefits." It argues that its admissions process meets the standards the court set in Grutter and other cases.

"Race is only one modest factor among many others weighed; it is considered only in an individualized and contextual way... and admissions officers do not know an applicant's race when they decide [who] to admit in UT's process," the university's court brief reads. "It is undisputed that UT has not established any race-based target; race is not assigned any automatic value; and the racial or ethnic composition of admits is not monitored during the admissions cycle."

Fisher, meanwhile, argues in her brief that UT Austin's attempts at racial diversity aren't focused on building a rich learning environment, but are "purely representational" -- in other words, the school is focused on achieving demographics that mirror state demographics. Additionally, her lawyers argue the school goes too far by striving for classroom diversity in addition to diversity among the entire student body. Classroom diversity can only be achieved, they argue, if race is a "dominant" factor in admissions.

Even so, Fisher's lawyers argue affirmative action has had a "negligible" impact on the school.

Most students -- 70 to 80 percent of those in-state students admitted -- are accepted to UT Austin through the "Top 10 percent" law, which grants automatic admission to the top students in every Texas high school. Race isn't considered in the "Top 10" program. In 2008, just 216 accepted students accepted outside of the "Top 10" program were black or Hispanic -- and many of those students would have been admitted without consideration of race, Fisher's lawyers note. As for Fisher, she did not qualify for the program.

While she didn't get into her school of choice, Fisher did graduate from Louisiana State University and now works as a financial analyst in Austin, the New York Times reports.

It's possible, Robson told, that the court may decide to simply let lower court rulings in favor of the university stand. Robson said that there are legitimate questions about whether the case even deserves to be heard by the Supreme Court but that the court may have been influenced by the views of Fifth Circuit Court Judge Edith Jones. An influential conservative, Jones argued that Fisher's case deserved consideration.

It's also possible the court could end up with a split decision, four to four. That's because Justice Elena Kagan has recused herself from the case, likely because of the high-level federal role she held while the case was moving through lower courts.

If the court splits, it would let the university system stand without setting any kind of precedent. The implications of that outcome would depend on what the written opinions say, but interested parties would also have to consider Kagan's role in future cases.

by Anonymousreply 2410/11/2012

Robson is right -- under Scalia's standing tests, which he has led the Court to adopt, this idiot who is suing has to prove (1) that she was injured by the UT policy, (2) the injury must be concrete and specific to her, and (3) that the court's ruling would remedy her injury.

Scalia has used this logic to deny all kinds of parties access to the court for feeling that their rights were violated, and especially to keep environmental plaintiffs from getting to court on the grounds that they can't prove they are in imminent or actual danger of being harmed by the threatened loss of the environment.

How in the fuck can this idiot prove that BUT FOR affirmative action, SHE would have been admitted, much less that if they strike down the policy, she would be let in?

Answer: She can't. The case should be dismissed for lack of standing.

by Anonymousreply 110/10/2012

Abolish racial quotas so that UC becomes 100% asian!

by Anonymousreply 210/10/2012

Against affirmative action = idiotic, drunken white ex-frat boys (i.e. Rick Perry and his ilk) pissed off that somewhat with darker skin color and more intelligence may get ahead and ruin their white men's sense of entitlement.

by Anonymousreply 310/10/2012

Good point R2.

BTW, our president would possibly not be where he is without it. He was chosen for his high school based on their need for racial diversity. I didn't know this until I saw it on Frontline last night.

You would think he would speak about this, but maybe he figures it won't get knocked down.

I think a few racist rednecks need to realize that schools don't only accept students based on grades and test scores. Even if affirmative action is knocked down, I would venture to guess most schools worth attending would keep some kind of guideline in place to ensure racial diversity. I wouldn't want to attend a school that was all "this" or all "that".

by Anonymousreply 410/10/2012

[quote]BTW, our president would possibly not be where he is without it.

Obviously he was promoted above his ability.

by Anonymousreply 510/10/2012

Not only that r3, but people who'd force the fratboys to work for a living.

by Anonymousreply 610/10/2012

Back in the 90s, the New Yorker did an article on college admissions and talked about Harvard and its "Jewish" problem.

From that, we got standardized tests (which the Jewish kids learned to finesse) so then was added all the volunteering, etc, to make a canditate more "interesting" instead of just a grub.

With all the applicants, there was a problem when ambition was stronger than intelligence, and it seems to be ten time worse now with the 21st Century and its focus on "Brand."

by Anonymousreply 710/10/2012

WTF does that mean, R5? I believe he graduated from that high school, went to college, on to Harvard where he became the first black editor of the Harvard Law Review.

Christ, are you retarded?

If he dropped out of that school, you could make the statement. You don't make any sense.

by Anonymousreply 810/10/2012

R8, relax please. The post was signed "Mittens".

by Anonymousreply 910/10/2012

Scalia is a asshole

by Anonymousreply 1010/10/2012

So I just saw... I could believe someone saying it though.

by Anonymousreply 1110/10/2012

I think it is time that AA be allowed to retire. It was never meant to be a permanent solution to racial disparity in higher education. Our demographics have changed and the once dominant white population are in the minority. People of all race are afforded the same opportunity. It is what you do with the opportunity that enables you to succeed.

by Anonymousreply 1210/10/2012

Everyone should be treated fairly.

by Anonymousreply 1310/10/2012

This is not news at all, let alone breaking news, just because you just found out about it.

by Anonymousreply 1410/10/2012

Based on the story in the NYT on Monday, I thought the girl sounded whiny and a spoil sport. She blames affirmative action on her not having a good career.

She's an idiot.

by Anonymousreply 1610/10/2012

If it was about poverty/economic chances then why weren't white kids from a poverty-stricken environment considered. Color isn't the only detriment.

by Anonymousreply 1710/10/2012

[quote] pissed off that somewhat with darker skin color and more intelligence


by Anonymousreply 1810/10/2012

I think AA should be kept because it has done wonders for state and city governments. Everything at the state and city level runs so much more smoothly and efficiently than when it did when white people were in charge of everything.

by Anonymousreply 1910/10/2012

R2, are you a lawyer? Interesting application of the "but for" test if you're not. Btw I'm sure Scalia can find a way to twist his standing test in the plaintiff's favor, since there is ZERO chance he's not voting to overrule Grutter.

R12, we don't *have* true AA anymore in schools. UT's approach is race-neutral; they simply accept the top 10% of every high school in the state. This, correspondingly, lets kids from schools that are predominantly white AND non-white to attend, without ever directly taking their race into account.

OP, as pointed out, this is not "breaking news." The Court decided to hear this case last spring. As for its likely result, I'm betting on a 4-4 tie.

by Anonymousreply 2010/10/2012

Weren't minorities given extra points on the SATs or something?

Obama said it best -- AA should be poverty vs. richest. The richest go to the front of the line all the time. Bush Jr., I'm looking at you!

by Anonymousreply 2110/10/2012

[quote]we don't *have* true AA anymore in schools. UT's approach is race-neutral; they simply accept the top 10% of every high school in the state. This, correspondingly, lets kids from schools that are predominantly white AND non-white to attend, without ever directly taking their race into account.

This is not about UT. It has wider implications. The time has come to end AA.

by Anonymousreply 2210/11/2012

But racial profiling can be Good!

by Anonymousreply 2310/11/2012

They will do whatever they have to to ensure that wealthy whites are no longer discriminated against.

by Anonymousreply 2410/11/2012
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