Applying for admission to the University of Texas? Well, move over, University of Michigan. In recent years, the University of Texas has supplanted UMichigan to become the biggest bullseye in the fight to take down the practice of Affirmative Action in college admissions. After the university claimed victory in the Abigail Fisher case at our nation’s highest court, it would’ve been easy for university officials to wipe their collective brows and figure the challenge was over. Not so much. The leader of Students for Fair Admissions and a UT alumnus, Edward Blum, has filed yet another suit against the UT system — this time at the state level. You may remember when Blum’s organization was recruiting students to join in an intended suit against the University of Texas.
As Ralph K.M. Haurwitz writes for “My Statesman” in a piece about Affirmative action at the UT schools, “Blum’s nonprofit, Students for Fair Admissions, with more than 20,000 students, parents and other members in Texas and elsewhere around the nation, contends that UT grants preferences to African American and Hispanic applicants at the expense of white and Asian applicants. The suit, filed in state district court in Travis County, seeks a permanent injunction barring UT from using racial factors in admissions decisions. ‘It is our belief that the Texas Constitution unequivocally forbids UT-Austin from treating applicants differently because of their race and ethnicity,’ said Blum, the group’s president.”
When the Abigail Fisher case was decided, it was decided by a margin of 4-3 — not long after the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia. The swing voter in favor of upholding the right of colleges to consider race as a factor in admissions decisions happened to be Justice Anthony Kennedy, a President Reagan appointee who finds himself in the news this week as rumors swirl about his possible retirement. With the appointment of Justice Neil Gorsuch by President Trump and another possible opening on the Supreme Court in the air, could Affirmative Action ultimately meet its demise?
If you’re a student or the parent of a student applying for admission to the University of Texas, what do you think about the latest lawsuit being brought to our courts by Students for Fair Admissions? Let us know your thoughts by posting a Comment below.