Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

 Email  Share  Print

Fisher v. UT Admissions Case Returns to Lower Court; ACE Submits Brief

November 01, 2013

Closeup of pen and paper

 

​ACE and a group of 41 higher education associations yesterday submitted another brief in the ongoing diversity in admissions case, Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin (UT).

The U.S. Supreme Court in June remanded the case back to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit. In a 7-1 decision, the Supreme Court said that the lower court failed to apply the correct standard of “strict scrutiny,” the most rigorous type of judicial review, when it ruled for UT in 2011.

The ACE brief focuses on a single key argument: educators’ determination of educational goals merits judicial respect. The Supreme Court has affirmed that the educational benefits that flow from a diverse student body are a compelling interest that can justify the narrowly tailored use of race in admissions. However, each institution defines diversity in its own way, consistent with its mission, and in doing so, makes an educational judgment that merits a degree of deference by the court.

The plaintiff in Fisher suggests that the university’s own judgment on what diversity means for that campus must be supplanted by a rigid numerical test. However, the higher education groups assert in the ACE brief that institutions themselves are in the best position to decide what mix of students best fits their educational goals.

The brief also notes that strict scrutiny distinguishes ends from means. The court must scrutinize the means used, but the end is attaining diversity’s benefits, which involves academic judgment and merits a degree of deference.

The case will be heard Nov. 13. 

Other ACE News

  • September 16, 2014

    HEADLINES: Today's Top Higher Education News

    In this morning’s headlines, The Arizona Republic, among other papers, covers a new effort by 11 universities to bolster success for low-income students. The Associated Press reports that the Obama administration will launch an effort to encourage...

  • Law and the Courts

    September 15, 2014

    ACE Releases Memo on Campus Political Campaign Activities

    With the 2014 midterm elections in full swing, the ACE has reissued its memo on Political Campaign-Related Activities of and at Colleges and Universitiees.

  • Campus Internationalization

    September 15, 2014

    flags

    New ACE Paper Explores Challenges to HBCUs in Internationalization

    The paper is the culmination of a three-year research project that was funded in part by the U.S. Department of Education, where seven HBCUs worked with ACE to develop campus-wide internationalization strategies.

  • Institutional Effectiveness

    September 10, 2014

    Class of 2014-15 ACE Fellows Begins With Weeklong Retreat in Chicago

    The 2014-15 Class of ACE Fellows explored everything from their personal leadership journey to marketing to financial management and more in the program’s five-day opening retreat late in August.

  • Institutional Capacity

    September 10, 2014

    Registration Open for ACE's 97th Annual Meeting

    Registration is now open for ACE’s 97th Annual Meeting, scheduled for March 14-17, 2015, in Washington, DC. Confirmed speakers thus far include Michael Beschloss and Paul Krugman.

 

 Related Content