Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Fisher v. Texas

Ashley Thorne

Today the Supreme Court is hearing arguments for the case Fisher v. Texas. Its decision in this case, expected before the term ends next June, could be a landmark case for the future of racial preferences. NAS’s amicus brief asks the Court to revisit the “educational benefits of diversity” rationale—which remains unproven—for racial preferences. 

The plaintiff in the case is Abigail Fisher, who maintains that the University of Texas at Austin discriminated against her on the basis of race when it denied her admission. The state of Texas already has a non-racial measure in place to help increase diversity: a law that guarantees admission to the state’s public universities for all students graduating in the top 10% of their high school classes. 

NAS has been involved in this case since early 2010 when we signed an amicus brief calling on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse and remand the district court’s decision to uphold the University’s use of race-based admissions. Our most recent friend-of-the-court brief written for the Supreme Court argues that the University of Texas’s race-based admissions policy violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and it contends that colleges and universities should prioritize race-neutral alternatives over racial classifications. 

We will continue to follow this case closely in the coming months. In the meantime, here are links to some of our coverage of the case so far. 

Retired Officers Join Obama Administration in Fisher Case
Sep 24, 2012 by Larry Purdy 
A group of veterans seek to annul the longstanding guarantee of “equal opportunity” without regard to race. 

Against “Diversity”
Aug 22, 2012 by John Rosenberg, Roger Clegg 
Roger Clegg and John S. Rosenberg offer ten reasons to oppose the "diversity" rationale for racial preferences. 

NAS’s California and Connecticut Affiliates File Amicus Brief in Fisher v. Texas
Jun 5, 2012 by Ashley Thorne
The friend-of-the-court brief filed by the California Association of Scholars and the Connecticut Association of Scholars asks the Supreme Court to revisit the "diversity" rationale for racial preferences in college admissions. 

Diversity: Obama's Higher-Education Agenda, Part 5 of 8
Apr 26, 2012 by Peter Wood
In the fifth of an eight-part series, Peter Wood examines the president’s pursuit of diversity in higher education. 

NAS Commends Supreme Court for Taking Fisher Case on Racial Preferences
Feb 21, 2012 Press Release
The Supreme Court agrees to hear what may become a landmark case on the diversity rationale for racial preferences in college admissions. 

NAS California Affiliate Introduces Amicus Brief Filed in Pending Supreme Court Case
Nov 16, 2011 by John M. Ellis
The California Association of Scholars offers a statement on the amicus curiae brief they submitted in support of Fisher v. University of Texas, a case that challenges the use of racial preferences in university admissions.  

Scholars Join Brief to Supreme Court in Fisher v. University of Texas
Oct 21, 2011 Press Release
NAS is a "friend of the court" in what could be a landmark case on the diversity rationale for racial preferences in college admissions. 

Peter Wood Quoted in New York Times on Fisher Case
Oct 17, 2011 by Ashley Thorne, Peter Wood
A case headed to the Supreme Court may change the way U.S. colleges consider diversity as a rationale for racial preferences in admissions. What really matters, says NAS president Peter Wood, is intellectual diversity. 

NAS Urges Court to Rule Racial Preferences at U Texas Unconstitutional
Jan 15, 2010 by Ashley Thorne
The NAS has signed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin.

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