The University ofTexas affirmative action case is back in the spotlight, after the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a new ruling Tuesday that says the university can continue using race as a factor in its admissions process. The 2-1 ruling from the three-judge panel said that barring UT from "limited use of race" in admissions would hurt diversity on campus. The ruling comes a year after the U.S. Supreme Court remanded the case back to the lower court for further review. The case was originally brought in 2008 by Abigail Fisher, a white woman who was denied admission to the university.
UT leaders hailed the latest ruling. University President Bill Powers called it a "great day for higher education nationwide," while Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa said the university is "pleased" that the court has upheld UT-Austin's "holistic admissions process." Fisher released her own statement saying she was "disappointed" in the ruling and would continue to fight the case. Her attorneys said they will appeal the ruling.
SouthTexas College of LawProfessor Gerald Treece says the high court punted on the case a year ago, but won't be able to again. "They're going to have to decide this issue," he tells KTRH. "And the real question about all of this, is whether or not affirmative action has run its course in America." Treece expects to see the case back before the high court sooner rather than later. "Very seldom have I predicted what a Supreme Court will do, but at least I'm going to predict this case will have review granted fairly quickly," he says. "Because this has just been a collateral diversion from deciding the case."