Schoolhouse Beat

U.S. Supreme Court sends college admissions case back to lower court

Affirmative action in college admissions has survived a U.S. Supreme Court review. The Associated Press say the court's decision avoided the difficult constitutional issues that surrounded a challenge to the admission plan at the University of Texas. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote that a court should approve the use of race as a factor in admissions only after it concludes "that no workable race-neutral alternatives would produce the educational benefits of diversity." But the decision did not question the underpinnings of affirmative action, which the high court last reaffirmed in 2003. The Texas plan uses race as one among many factors in admitting about a quarter of the university's incoming freshmen. The school gives the bulk of the slots to Texans who are admitted based on their high school class rank, without regard to race. The challenge to the admissions policy came from Abigail Fisher, a white Texan who was not offered a spot at the university in 2008. Fisher has subsequently graduated from Louisiana State University.

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