U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Case on the Use of Affirmative Action in the College Admissions Process

Written by:  Brandi C. Everett

On February 21, 2012, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case involving the use of affirmative action in the college admissions process.  The case, Fisher v. Texas, No. 11-345, began when a white woman sued the University of Texas after being denied admission allegedly because of her race.  The Fisher case brings the issue of affirmative action in the college admissions process back in front of the Supreme Court after their 2003 decision in Grutter v. Bollinger.  The Grutter decision allowed colleges to take race into account when making admissions decisions.

The issue of affirmative action is highly debated, with many people having a wide range of opinions on the matter.  While opinions may differ. . . one thing is clear:  in the states that have chosen not to consider race when admitting students there are a lower number of minority students who are accepted into those states’ public universities (click on the link to the New York Times article provided below for a list of such states).  One may argue that minority students would be admitted to those institutions if they performed better academically.  This may be true, however, minority students are faced with economic disadvantages (including the unavailability of quality education) that a lot of their white counterparts are fortunate enough to not have to deal with.  Affirmative action simply levels the playing field for minority students.  The reality is that affirmative action is the only way diversity can be achieved in many colleges. Not allowing colleges to take race into consideration could do more harm than good for minority students and for the college experience as a whole.

For more about Fisher v. Texas, No. 11-345, please follow the links below:

http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/fisher-v-university-of-texas-at-austin/

http://www.supremecourt.gov/Search.aspx?FileName=/docketfiles/11-345.htm

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/22/us/justices-to-hear-case-on-affirmative-action-in-higher-education.html?ref=education

http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/02/21/10466979-affirmative-action-in-college-admissions-supreme-court-to-hear-case

The opinions expressed herein are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Widener Journal of Law, Economics & Race.

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