Appeals Court Rehears Key Affirmative Action Case Fisher v. Texas

It's been a busy year for affirmative action.

By Julianne Hing Nov 13, 2013

Affirmative action is back for yet another day of court today. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals hears arguments today in Fisher v. Texas, the major affirmative action case which was sent back down to appellate courts by the Supreme Court this summer.

While the Supreme Court affirmed in its June ruling on Fisher v. Texas that diversity on college campuses is a worthwhile goal and allowed colleges and universities to continue to take race into consideration in admissions, the High Court sent the case itself back to the Fifth Circuit to take a closer look at the University of Texas’ admissions policies. The question before the Fifth Circuit right now is whether race-neutral alternatives could still advance the school’s goal of fostering diversity as well as its current program, under which the majority of students are admitted via a race-blind policy and a small percentage are admitted through a separate process which considers race, among multiple other factors, to complete its admissions.

Proponents of affirmative action argue that race-neutral alternatives can’t and don’t produce the same kinds of diversity.

Catch up on Colorlines’ affirmative action coverage, including Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, the other major affirmative action case currently before the Supreme Court, here