06.23.16

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Supreme Court’s Decision In Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.),
Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee,
On The Supreme Court’s Decision
In Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin

June 23, 2016

[This is the second time in two years that the Supreme Court has taken up plaintiff Abigail Fisher’s challenge to the University of Texas’s admissions policy. In 2013, the Court held that the Fifth Circuit did not properly apply the demanding burden of strict scrutiny set forth in prior Supreme Court precedent. Upon reviewing the case for a second time, the Fifth Circuit once again upheld the policy. The plaintiff then appealed to the Supreme Court again. Today, the Supreme Court decided 4-3 to uphold the University’s admissions policy.]

“I applaud today’s decision by the Supreme Court upholding the University of Texas’s admissions policy. The Court’s decision reaffirms that the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution permits the University of Texas to consider race and ethnicity in limited circumstances when determining the makeup of its student body.

“The Court was right to recognize the educational importance of having a diverse student body. Everyone – not just students from minority backgrounds – benefits from a higher education experience that includes diversity of experience, background, and thought because it prepares students for the world we live in today.

“As Justice Kennedy noted in his opinion, these are the ‘intangible qualities which are incapable of objective measurement but which make for greatness.’”

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