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Fisher v. University of Texas
Fisher v. University of Texas involves a challenge to the University of Texas’ holistic admissions policy, which uses race as one factor among many in selecting a critical mass of diverse, academically accomplished students for admission. The challengers argue that UT-Austin’s policy violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment because it allows the university to take race into account in making decisions to admit students. The lower courts rejected this claim.
On August 13, 2012, CAC filed an amici curiae brief in the Supreme Court defending the constitutionality of UT-Austin’s admissions policy on behalf of CAC and some of the most prominent constitutional scholars in the country, Professors Bruce Ackerman, Vikram Amar, Jack Balkin, Burt Neuborne, James Ryan, and Adam Winkler. Drawing on the work of our clients, our brief demonstrates that the Framers of the Fourteenth Amendment approved of the use of race to foster equality of opportunity. As the brief explains, the Reconstruction Framers, contemporaneous with the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment, enacted a long list of race-conscious legislation designed to guarantee equality of opportunity for all persons regardless of race. Our brief argues that, under the text and history of the Fourteenth Amendment as well as the Supreme Court’s case law, UT’s sensitive use of race in admissions is constitutionally permissible in order to ensure a diverse, accomplished academic community and to provide pathways to professional life and leadership for all of the state’s residents regardless of race.
The Supreme Court heard oral argument on October 10th, 2012.