Supreme Court to hear case of UT admission

October 8, 2012 10:40:28 AM PDT
The issue of using a student's race as a factor in admission to college goes before the US Supreme Court this week. The case is from a lawsuit filed by a young woman from Sugar Land who claims she was denied admission to the University of Texas because she is white.

The court will hear arguments in this case on Wednesday and while the eyes of Texas will be watching closely, so will the rest of the country.

The plaintiff is Abigail Fisher. She was denied admission to UT at Austin in 2008. The university guarantees slots for students in the top 10 percent of their high school class, but it also uses race in the admissions process.

Fisher claims her right to equal protection under the 14th amendment was violated by the affirmative action policy, because she is white.

In 2003 the court heard a similar case against the University of Michigan Law School, and the Supreme Court sided with the school. This time, the makeup of the court is different. Justice Elena Kagan has recused herself, and of the eight remaining, the conservative justices outnumber those who are more liberal. Among the conservatives are Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, who were not on the court in 2003.

KTRK political analyst Joel Androphy says this case could change the policies at every university in the country, and even in corporate America.

"I would probably tend to believe that they are going to side with her because of the conservative nature of the Supreme Court," he said. "The position of the Supreme Court is they have not been fond of affirmative action."

In the event the justices are tied four to four, the lower court's ruling would stand and that court sided with UT.


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