Supreme Court upholds use of race in university affirmative action case

June 23, 2016

The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the use of race in college admissions for the University of Texas, rejecting a challenge brought by a white woman to the affirmative action program.

The court ruled for the university in a tight, 4-3 decision, marking the second time the court has affirmed the use of race in the admissions process. The decision will make it easier for public universities to justify compelling reasons for a limited use of race criteria in admissions.

The court had sidestepped the broader constitutional issues in a similar case three years ago, but on Thursday upheld the university policy as “lawful under the Equal Protection Clause.”

“[I]t remains an enduring challenge to our Nation’s education system to reconcile the pursuit of diversity with the constitutional promise of equal treatment and dignity,” the majority opinion said.

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