Appeals Court upholds the University of Texas, Austin’s Use of Race and Ethnicity in Admissions
Appeals Court upholds the University of Texas, Austin’s Use of Race and Ethnicity in AdmissionsBradley J. Quin, Executive Director, Higher Education Advocacy & Special Initiatives
On July 15, 2014, the Fifth Circuit issued its opinion in the Fisher litigation, on remand from the Supreme Court. The three-judge panel (in a 2-1 decision) upheld the University of Texas at Austin’s race-conscious admission policy. In a 41 page opinion (a marked difference from the comparably slim Supreme Court decision last summer), the majority found that UT had demonstrated that its consideration of race was a necessary component of its admissions policy. The majority concludes, “We are persuaded that to deny UT Austin its limited use of race in its search for holistic diversity would hobble the richness of the educational experience in contradiction of the plain teachings of Bakke and Grutter.” Judge Garza dissented (he previously authored the “special concurrence” to the original Fifth Circuit opinion, in which he lamented the Grutter decision).
Read the majority and dissenting opinions.. Read the Access & Diversity Collaborative case analysis here. Read an opinion piece written in June for All Access by Stephen Farmer, Vice Provost for Enrollment and Undergraduate Admissions at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, here.