Last June, the United States Supreme Court agreed to rehear the case of Fisher v. University of Texas, and NAS had joined with the Pacific Legal Foundation and several other organizations in submitting a brief amicus curiae urging the Court to grant certiorari. In 2013, the case had been remanded to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which was directed to re-examine the university’s insistence that its race-based admissions policies did not conflict with the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th amendment to the Constitution, consistent with the standard of “strict scrutiny.” The lower court once again upheld the university, and the case is now in the Supreme Court’s docket for the approaching October term.
Accordingly, we’ve signed on in a new brief submitted by PLF this month urging the Court to overturn the university’s admissions policies, which we believe are flatly unconstitutional. Joining us as co-signers are some long-time friends and allies who have steadfastly opposed the use of racial preferences: the Center for Equal Opportunity (CEO), the Reason Foundation, the American Civil Rights Institute, the Individual Rights Foundation, and Project 21. As we noted here in June, it’s impossible to anticipate how the Court will finally dispose of the case. Justice Elena Kagan’s expected recusal could produce a 4-4 split, in which case the lower court’s verdict would stand. Our continued hope is that a majority will finally and forcefully conclude that race-based admissions policies, so widely used in academe, are discriminatory, unfair and unconstitutional. We’ll have that answer by next June.