In 2008, Abigail Fisher sued the University of Texas when she was not offered a spot at the university’s flagship Austin. And she said it was because of Affirmative Action. But on Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the affirmative action program at the University of Texas at Austin, ending a protracted legal battle.
A Texas law guarantees admission to the university for students in roughly the top ten percent of the graduating class of any Texas high school. To fill the remaining slots, about one fourth of each entering class, the school considers several other factors, including an applicant’s race.
The school said students learn better when there’s diversity on campus and within racial groups. But a woman who was denied admission, Abigail Fisher, filed a lawsuit claiming the diversity standard was too vague to justify making distinctions based on race.
The Supreme Court gave a limited victory to the university three years ago, agreeing that campus diversity is a worthy goal. But the justices instructed an appeals court to review whether considering an applicant’s race was necessary to achieving it. When that court said it was, Fisher again appealed, leading to Thursday’s decision.
She argued that the Top Ten plan did enough to increase minority enrollment and create a racially diverse campus. In order to justify considering an applicant’s race, she claimed, the university should have a more concrete goal, because racial classifications must pass a rigid legal test.
Well now the Supreme Court has declared Abigail’s mediocrity.