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Dec 07

Racial Preferences Return to the Supreme Court: Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin

On December 9, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Abigail Fisher’s case against the University of Texas at Austin (UT). The school automatically admits Texas high schoolers who graduate in the top 10 percent of their class. Other applicants are given a “holistic review,” which includes a preference for certain preferred racial minorities. Fisher – who is white and did not graduate in the top 10 percent – was denied admission to UT, and she sued the school for racial discrimination. This is the second time her case has reached the Supreme Court. In 2013, a majority of the justices ruled that the lower courts were too deferential to UT officials about whether their use of race met the constitutional standard of being narrowly tailored to advance a compelling state interest. On this second trip to the High Court, Fisher argues that the school still has not proven it needs to use race and also challenges UT’s new assertion that its racially discriminatory “holistic review” of applicants helps ensure “qualitative” diversity. Will these arguments hold up before the justices? Will they rule in Abigail Fisher’s favor? Join us as distinguished legal scholars address how the Court should rule.

More About the Speakers

James Blumstein
Vanderbilt University Law School

Gail Heriot
University of San Diego School of Law

Peter Kirsanow
Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP

Hans von Spakovsky
Senior Legal Fellow, The Heritage Foundation

Hosted By

Elizabeth Slattery Elizabeth Slattery

Legal Fellow and Appellate Advocacy Program Manager Read More