Hot! Supreme Court Struggles with Affirmative Action

USA Today | The Supreme Court has been trying to determine how much racial favoritism is enough in the Fisher v. University of Texas case. The case resulted after Abigail Fisher, a 22-year-old Texan who said she was denied admission to the school’s flagship campus because she was white.

Court conservatives wondered whether universities can tip the balance between equally qualified students toward the one who is black.

Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito expressed skepticism with Texas’ effort to achieve diversity even in small classrooms, where Gregory Garre, the university’s lawyer, said minority students feel “shocking isolation.”

The lawyers seemed particularly focused on Justice Anthony Kennedy, who dissented from O’Connor’s 2003 opinion in Grutter v. Bollinger, the University of Michigan case that upheld a limited use of racial preferences. That case remains the law of the land, but Kennedy and the other four conservative justices, including Clarence Thomas, could overrule it in this case

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