Today the Supreme Court of the United States heard arguments in the affirmative action case Fisher v. The University of Texas. Abigail Fisher was denied admission into UT over 4 years ago. She has since attended and graduated from LSU and now works as a financial advisor. Yet she is still legally challenging that, because race is a factor in admissions at UT, she did not have a fair shot at getting in since she is white. UT, from the outset, has said that her test scores were so mediocre that had she been black, she still would not have gotten in.
I would like to highlight this one small section (page 48ff):
JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: Mr. Garre, I think that the issue that my colleagues are asking is, at what point and when do we stop deferring to the University’s judgment that race is still necessary? That’s the bottom line of this case. And you’re saying, and I think rightly because of our cases, that you can’t set a quota, because that’s what our cases say you can’t do. So if we’re not going to set a quota, what do you think is the standard we apply to make a judgment?
UT Lawyer, Mr. Garre: I think the standard you would apply is the one set forth in Grutter, and it comes from Justice Powell’s opinion in Bakke, that you would look to whether or not the University reached an environment in which members of underrepresented minorities, African Americans and Hispanics, do not feel like spokespersons for their race, members — an environment where cross-racial understanding is promoted, an environment where the benefit — educational benefits of diversity are realized.
I’m very proud, in this moment, to be a student at and employee of the university whose lawyer said these words in the SCOTUS chambers today. Hook ’em.