SCOTUS Issues Narrow Decision on Affirmative Action
June 24, 2013 8:14 AM Subscribe
The reviewing court must ultimately be satisfied that no
workable race-neutral alternatives would produce the educational benefits of diversity.
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The Supreme Court issued a decision
[pdf] in the affirmative action case Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin
The decision was 7-1, with Kennedy writing for the majority, Scalia and Thomas each writing separate concurring opinions, Ginsburg dissenting, and Kagan recused.
Kennedy for the majority:
a university must make a showing that its plan is narrowly tailored to achieve the only interest that this Court has approved in this context: the benefits of a student body diversity that “encompasses a . . . broa[d] array of qualifications and characteristics of which racial or ethnic origin is but a single though important element."
The Constitution proscribes government discrimination on the basis of race, and state-provided education is no exception.
I write separately to explain that I would overrule Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U. S. 306 (2003), and hold that a State’s use of race in higher education admissions decisions is categorically prohibited by the Equal Protection Clause.
the University’s admissions policy flexibly considers race only as a “factor of a factor of a factor of a factor” in the calculus. . . . and is subject to periodic review to ensure that the consideration of race remains necessary and proper to achieve the University’s educational objectives