Civil and Human Rights

Fisher Goes Back to Court in Texas

Today, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit will once again be hearing Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, the challenge to the modest use of race in college admissions that made national headlines when it was considered by the U.S. Supreme Court last Term.

In a 7-1 decision this past June, the Supreme Court sent the case back to the Fifth Circuit, holding that the lower court had applied the wrong standard in judging the constitutionality of the University’s policy.  The Court did not reach the merits of whether the policy itself was unconstitutional, and left in place precedent that upholds the pursuit of diversity as a goal in general.   Indeed, after nearly a year of suspense and speculation about what the Court’s ultimate ruling might mean for educational institutions, the Court’s decision was mostly notable for what it did not do, as CAC’s David Gans discussed at the time.

Today, on remand from the Supreme Court, a three-judge panel  of the Fifth Circuit in Austin will reconsider the validity of the University’s policy, and may send the case back to the district court for additional fact finding about UT Austin’s admissions program. 

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund will be participating in today’s oral argument.  More information from our colleagues is at LDF’s website.

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