Eye on Education

Supreme Court Ruling in Affirmative Action Unlikely to Affect Colleges, Applicants Any Time Soon

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a long-awaited ruling on a case related to affirmative action in college admissions, but that ruling is unlikely to have immediate implications for colleges and applicants. Inside Higher Ed reports that the court’s 7-1 ruling in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin did not offer a definitive opinion on whether colleges may consider the use of race in admissions.

The case was brought against the University of Texas at Austin by Abigail Fisher, who is white. Fisher said the school rejected her application for admission based on her race.

The case is likely to return to the Supreme Court again after being heard again by a lower court.

The decision said that “good faith” by the university would not be enough to justify the consideration of race. But the decision — by Justice Anthony Kennedy — does not offer an opinion on whether the University of Texas can produce sufficient evidence. Rather, it faults the appeals court for not reviewing that question using the high bar of “strict scrutiny” for the consideration of race.

The Supreme Court did not — as some thought it might — reverse past decisions that allowed colleges to consider race. In fact, the conclusion of the decision states that colleges must meet the requirements previously given by the court to justify the use of race.

Read more at: www.insidehighered.com

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