Young Woman Against Affirmative Action Suffers a Huge Loss

June 23rd 2016

Almie Rose

The United States Supreme Court just made a decision in an affirmative action case: The justices delivered a win for those in favor of affirmative action in college admissions and a loss for the young woman who filed the initial lawsuit.

Abigail Fisher filed a lawsuit against University of Texas at Austin in 2008. Fisher alleges that she was unfairly and unlawfully denied admission to the university because she's white and those who were accepted under affirmative action were not as qualified as she.

"The case [Fisher v. University of Texas] concerned the University of Texas’s idiosyncratic admissions program," The New York Times explained. "Most applicants from within the state are admitted under a part of the program that guarantees admission to top students in every high school in the state. (This is often called the Top 10 Percent program, though the percentage cutoff can vary by year.)"

Those not accepted under the Top 10 Percent program are evaluated by "account academic achievement and other factors, including race and ethnicity," The New York Times reported, which is how many universities base all of their admissions. Fisher and her lawyers sued on the grounds that Fisher's application denial was racially based and thus a "violation of the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection clause," according to International Business Times.

In a 4-3 decision (Justice Elena Kagan had recused herself) the Supreme Court Justices did not rule in her favor.

“A university is in large part defined by those intangible ‘qualities which are incapable of objective measurement but which make for greatness,’” Justice Kennedy, who delivered the decision for the majority, wrote quoting a past case. “Considerable deference is owed to a university in defining those intangible characteristics, like student body diversity, that are central to its identity and educational mission.”

Today's official ruling upholding affirmative action is coming as a surprise to some.

Many are happy with the outcome. #StayMadAbby is trending (again) on Twitter.

[H/T International Business Times]