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Supreme Court revisits Texas affirmative action case

Leon Wheeler holds a sign that reads
Leon Wheeler holds a sign that reads "We Support U.T. Austion" during a rally in front of the U.S. Supreme Court Supreme, on October 10, 2012 in Washington, DC.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

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Today the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on a challenge to admissions programs at the University of Texas originally created to promote racial diversity on college campuses.

The case Fisher v. University of Texas  is based on two plaintiffs Abigail Noel Fisher and Rachel Multer Michalewicz who applied to the University of Texas at Austin in 2008 and were denied admission.

The two women, both white, filed suit, alleging that the University had discriminated against them based on their race, violating  the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The case looks at whether the Fifth Circuit’s re-endorsement of the University of Texas at Austin’s use of racial preferences in undergraduate admissions can be sustained under the Court’s Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The case was first reviewed by the Supreme Court in 2013 but later sent back to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. What do you think should race play a role in college admissions?


Robert Barnes, Supreme Court reporter for the Washington Post, who followed today’s oral arguments

Timothy Johnson, Professor of Political Science and Law at the University of Minnesota, and co-author of “Oral Arguments and Coalition Formation on the U.S. Supreme Court: A Deliberate Dialogue” (University Michigan Press, 2012)