||Joshua P. Thompson
Pacific Legal Foundation
|Meriem L. Hubbard
Pacific Legal Foundation
PLF applauds High Court decision to review race-based university admissions
Washington, D.C., February 21, 2012: Pacific Legal Foundation applauded today’s announcement that the United States Supreme Court will hear the case of Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, a constitutional challenge to race-based admissions at UT-Austin and, by extension, at any public university that might be practicing such a policy.
PLF filed an amicus brief urging the Court to take the case. The brief was submitted on behalf of PLF, The Center for Equal Opportunity, The American Civil Rights Institute, the National Association of Scholars, and Project 21.
“The Court’s decision is good news for everyone who believes in equal rights and equal opportunities,” said PLF attorney Joshua P. Thompson, who wrote PLF’s amicus brief. “By taking this case, the Court will be revisiting earlier decisions that permitted race-based preferences under the justification of seeking diversity. It is time for the Court to take another look at this area of law, and stake out a clear position against race-based preferences and discrimination in university admissions.
“Using race in admissions decisions, to achieve diversity, amounts to stereotyping people by their race,” Thompson continued. “In the real world, shared skin color does not automatically translate into shared backgrounds or beliefs. Racial diversity in a student body does not guarantee a diversity of experience and perspectives. It is unrealistic and wrong to try to pigeon-hole people by their race.
“Teaching students that their skin color is what defines them should not be part of the curriculum at public universities,” said Thompson. “A policy of race-based preferences and discrimination in admissions is not just unfair, it is unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. With the Fisher case, the Court has an opportunity to give greater force to this core constitutional mandate for fairness and equality.”
The petitioner in the lawsuit is Abigail Fisher, of Sugar Land, who was denied admission to UT-Austin, and is challenging the university’s admissions policy because she was not evaluated on an equal basis with applicants from other racial backgrounds (she happens to be Caucasian). Instead of looking at all students without regard to skin color, UT-Austin considers an applicant’s race, with favoritism for African-Americans and Hispanics.
About Pacific Legal Foundation
Donor-supported Pacific Legal Foundation is the leading watchdog organization that litigates for limited government and equal protection under the law, in courts nationwide.