Author: Judy

The Supreme Court’s Decision in Fisher v. University of Texas

The Supreme Court’s Decision in Fisher v. University of Texas

Op-Ed: The Supreme Court will end affirmative action. What happens next?

In the last week of May, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, a case about whether the university could use race in admissions to choose who would get its best and brightest students.

The Court is expected to issue its decision by summer. But now, to help prepare the court’s deliberations, Slate has put together a timeline of developments in the case and our response to them.

As a Supreme Court justice said in last fall’s Fisher v. University of Texas, race is “the linchpin” of affirmative action.

In some ways, the story of the case is similar to the evolution of affirmative action, which at the turn of the last century was a response to a legal and racial climate that made it very tough to get good black and brown people into the legal profession.

The University of Texas was accused of using racially discriminatory admissions to keep black and brown students out. The school argued that the admissions policies in place were “narrowly tailored to fulfill a compelling interest.”

The Supreme Court disagreed, holding that there was no such compelling interest in the law school. And it made it clear that, as a result, there was no need for the other forms of affirmative action that have been used up to this point.

The case is significant, however, because it has set a precedent that the Supreme Court has hinted at in a string of other cases.

As Slate’s legal editor, Dahlia Lithwick has argued, “If the Supreme Court’s reasoning in this one case doesn’t survive, then affirmative action is basically dead in the water, right there.”

We’ll be writing more about this story. In the meantime, here’s the timeline of developments.

May 20: The University of Texas filed a brief in the case, offering a simple answer to the question at the heart of the case: its admissions practices are not race-based. “The University’s policy of seeking ‘the

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