The fate of affirmative action currently lays in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court following Wednesday’s oral arguments on whether 25-year-old Abigail Fisher was denied admission to the University of Texas because of her race.
Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a law passed by voters in Michigan that banned consideration of race in the public college admissions process.
Eight states have passed laws restricting affirmative action since 1996, despite the racial makeup of college students and graduates evolving.
The Supreme Court ruled that a Michigan initiative that bans racial preferences in college admissions is constitutional, overturning a lower court decision.
The measure is expected to appear on this year’s ballot.
A study released by the University of Central Florida shows that the top leaders at Football Bowl Subdivision conferences and schools remain mostly white and male.
The study examined race and gender of conference commissioners and campus leaders holding positions of college and university presidents, athletic directors and faculty athletic representatives such as football coaches for 125 institutions.
Back in June, the U.S. Supreme Court faced an issue that it has decided on countless times. Affirmative Action and whether or not colleges and universities should consider a person’s race when admitting them.
The case was Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, and the justices could not come to a conclusion. Six years ago, Abigail Fisher filed a lawsuit arguing that she was rejected from the university because it favored minorities.
The justices returned the case to the lower court that had previously upheld the school’s affirmative action program, instructing them to rule on whether or not the university had “adequately considered other methods that did not use race, such as those more focused on family income, in its efforts to diversify the student body.”
The Supreme Court is currently evaluating the University of Michigan’s current ban on affirmative action, and most of the justices appear to agree that it should be upheld.
Several of them expressed doubts that the constitutional amendment violates minorities’ equal protection rights.
Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito and Anthony Kennedy all questioned why a state’s voters should not be able to change affirmative action policies, just as any other level of school or state government can. Justice Clarence Thomas’ vote for the ban is virtually assured.
The Supreme Court will decide if affirmative action is a justifiable factor in college admissions on Tuesday.
The judges will take on the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, a 2006 constitutional amendment banning the use of racial preferences in public university admissions.
Tomorrow’s ruling could not just affect the University of Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus, but reach seven states. California, Florida, Arizona, Washington, Oklahoma, Nebraska and New Hampshire has similar bans.