Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Supreme Court to hear affirmative action case

Updated at 12:08 p.m. ET: WASHINGTON -- In a potentially momentous case, the Supreme Court will once again confront the issue of race in university admissions in an appeal brought by a white student denied a spot at the flagship campus of the University of Texas.

The court said Tuesday it will return to the issue of affirmative action in higher education for the first time since its 2003 decision endorsing the use of race as a factor in freshmen admissions. This time around, a more conservative court is being asked to jettison that ruling and outlaw affirmative action in the university setting.

A broad ruling in favor of the student, Abigail Fisher, could threaten affirmative action programs at many of the nation's public and private universities, said Vanderbilt University law professor Brian Fitzpatrick.
Read the rest here.


The Archer of the Forest said...

I don't know how they figure this is a more conservative court than in 2003.

gdelassu said...

"Conservative" is, of course, one of those squishy words that mean a million different things in a million different speakers' mouths. I think that what is meant in the linked article, however, is that Grutter was decided by a court on which the swing voter was Justice O'Connor. This case will be decided by a court on which the swing voter is Justice Kennedy.

Kennedy is discernibly more hostile to affirmative action than was O'Connor. Indeed, Kennedy voted against Michigan's affirmative action scheme in Grutter and has never voted to uphold an affirmative action law. Given that O'Connor, the fifth vote in Grutter, has been replaced with Justice Alito (who had an anti-affirmative action track record on the 3rd circuit), it seems likely that Grutter will be seriously curtailed if not outright over-ruled by the coming Fisher case. It is not crazy, to my mind, to call such an outcome "more conservative."

The Archer of the Forest said...

Okay, that I will buy.