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

  • June 24, 2016

    Today's Headlines

    HEADLINES: Today's Top Higher Education News

    The Supreme Court’s decision in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin dominates this morning’s higher education news, with The Chronicle of Higher Education and The Associated Press just two of the media outlets covering the ruling. The Chronicle...

  • Law and the Courts

    June 24, 2016

    Gavel

    Supreme Court Affirms Constitutionality of UT Admissions Policy

    ​​The U.S. Supreme Court on June 23 issued its long-awaited decision in the second hearing of Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin (UT), voting 4-3 to uphold UT’s diversity in admissions policy.

  • Diversity in Leadership

    June 22, 2016

    Coworkers with computer

    ACE’s Spectrum Aspiring Leaders Program Helps Diversify Leadership Pipeline

    ​Designed to increase diversity among senior leaders in higher education, the October Spectrum Aspiring Leadership Program will combine interactive programming focused on honing leadership skills with networking opportunities and strategic career...

  • Higher Education Act

    June 22, 2016

    U.S. Capitol

    House Committee Approves Five Bills in Move Toward Reauthorizing the Higher Education Act

    ​The House Education and the Workforce Committee has approved five higher education measures focused on improving the financial aid process, enhancing consumer information and strengthening federal programs that support the work of minority-serving...

  • Diversity in Leadership

    June 22, 2016

    ACPS 2016-17

    Take the American College President Study Survey

    The survey is the oldest, most comprehensive and in-depth source of information about the college presidency and the leadership pipeline in higher education. Make sure your institution's president is included.

 

 Related Content