The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to a second hearing of a major affirmative action case next term about a public university that uses race as a factor in its admissions process.
Brought by Texas woman Abigail Fisher, the challenge targets the admissions policies at the University of Texas at Austin. High school seniors in Texas who graduate in the top 10% of their class are automatically admitted to any Texas state university, but race is considered as one factor among applicants not in the top 10% as part of a drive to increase racial diversity on campus.
Fisher, who is white and was not in the top 10% of students, applied to the University of Texas and was denied admission. The Court should “strike down UT’s unjustified use of race,” Fisher’s lawyers said in Court briefs.
The Supreme Court heard the same case in 2012, but remanded it back to the lower court with the university’s admissions policies unchanged.
Justice Elena Kagan, who dealt with the case in her former job as Solicitor General, took no part in considering the petition. That raises the possibility of the justices splitting evenly, resulting in no precedence over whether race can be considered by colleges in admissions.