on october 10, the u.s. supreme court will hear fisher v. university of texas, no. 11-345, a major challenge to affirmative action in higher education. the case was brought by abigail fisher, a white woman who says she was denied admission to the university of texas based on her race. the university selects parts of its class by taking race into account, as one factor among many, in an effort to ensure educational diversity.
nine years ago the court endorsed that university's approach in a five-to-four vote. the majority opinion in the case, grutter v. bollinger, was written by justice sandra day o'connor. in fact, she said she expected it to last for a quarter of a century. but o'connor retired in 2006.
o'connor was succeeded by justice samuel a. alito, jr., a president george w. bush appointee who consistently votes to limit race-conscious decision-making by the government. chief justice john g. roberts, jr., another bush appointee, has made no secret of his distaste for what he calls,"a sordid business, this divvying us up by race."
justices anthony kennedy, antonin scalia & clarence thomas all dissented in the grutter case, which suggests there now may be five votes to limit or overturn it. the aim of such a decision may depend on the intricacies of the admissions system in texas. the university provides automatic admission to students in texas who graduate in roughly the top ten percent of their high school classes. their system generates diversity, partly because many texas high schools remain racially homogeneous.
ms. fisher narrowly missed the cutoff at a high school whose students have above-average test scores for the state. she was rejected for one of the remaining spots under the part of the admissions program considering applicants' race. the court may uphold the texas system under grutter, or it may rule against it by saying, for instance, race-conscious admissions are forbidden where a race-neutral method - like the ten percent program - can said to be working fairly.
- mark j. tuggle
- harlem, usa
- same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. firstname.lastname@example.org.