Essay Example on The Fisher versus the University of Texas Case

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The Fisher versus the University of Texas case was a Supreme Court case filed in 2008 that sparked national debate regarding policies of affirmative action The plaintiff Abigail Fisher was a white woman who claimed that she had been discriminated against by the University of Texas in its acceptance process because of her race costing her admission to the school According to Fisher the university s race conscious affirmative action policy let in minority students who were less qualified applicants than her denying her what she considered her rightful place in the institution Edward Blum director of the Project on Fair Representation that represented Fisher said that her case presents the court with an opportunity to clarify the boundaries of race preferences in higher education or even reconsider whether race should be permitted at all under the Constitution's guarantee of equal protection 1 arguing that the University's affirmative action policy violated the Fourteenth Amendment The Supreme Court which has been narrowly divided on its stance regarding policies of affirmative action supported controlled use of such policies in the 2003 Grutter v Bollinger case 



2 Proponents of affirmative action including the Obama administration which backed Texas while the case was being heard in the lower courts argued that colleges should be allowed the freedom to make some race based decisions to expand campus diversity Bill Powers President of the University of Texas stated We must have the flexibility to consider each applicant s unique experiences and background so we can provide the best environment in which to educate and train the students who will be our nation's future leaders 3 On the other hand those who opposed affirmative action proclaimed that race conscious admission policies favored wealthy minorities over white and Asian American counterparts who were less affluent but better qualified arguing that socioeconomic status should be considered as a factor instead 4 Challengers of affirmative action also asserted that race conscious policies resulted in reverse racism or that white people were now becoming the victims of racism The court s 2013 ruling in favor of the State of Texas was hailed as a major victory by advocates of affirmative action who saw it as a landmark decision in favor of students of color also pointing out that white women among the strongest opponents of such policies today had themselves gained substantially from programs of affirmative action since because of their gender they had been beneficiaries of these policies 



5 Those opposed to the ruling reacted strongly and included Supreme Court Justice Samuel A Alito Jr who denounced the court s decision saying that there had been no demonstrated need for race based admissions and that Texas Top 10 program favored students who were financially better off Alito remarked to his colleagues This is affirmative action gone berserk 6 The reactions to the Texas v Fisher demonstrate that racial tensions still plague American society Minorities feel affirmative action is essential to securing them a seat at the table Lewis R Gordon in his article The Problem with Affirmative Action talks of how affirmative action although it helped him in his career remains controlled by white males who control an organized system of institutional discrimination designed to keep power in the hands of a few 7 Data seems to support the claims made by those who assert that affirmative action is pivotal to equal representation an analysis by FiveThirtyEight revealed that colleges in states that do not allow affirmative action are not as representative of the states racial demographics as those that employ race conscious admission policies 8 On the other hand a significant number of white individuals seem to believe that they are receiving the short end of the stick in this situation Data however suggests otherwise White students constitute almost two thirds of all institutional grant and scholarship recipients and hold over seventy five percent of merit based grants and scholarships despite only comprising around sixty per cent of all college students 9 Works Cited 1 Barnes Robert Supreme Court agrees to reconsider use of race in college admission decisions the 



Washington Post February 21 2012 https www washingtonpost com politics supreme court agrees to reconsider use of race in college admission decisions 2012 02 21 gIQA2viJRR_story html utm_term 2e943756d0f8 2 Barnes Robert Supreme Court agrees to reconsider use of race in college admission decisions the Washington Post February 21 2012 https www washingtonpost com politics supreme court agrees to reconsider use of race in college admission decisions 2012 02 21 gIQA2viJRR_story html utm_term 2e943756d0f8 3 Barnes Robert Supreme Court agrees to reconsider use of race in college admission decisions the Washington Post February 21 2012 https www washingtonpost com politics supreme court agrees to reconsider use of race in college admission decisions 2012 02 21 gIQA2viJRR_story html utm_term 2e943756d0f8 4 Taylor Jr Stewart and Sander Richard Opposing view Racial balancing ignores inequalities USA Today October 12 2012 https www usatoday com story opinion 2012 10 10 racial balancing supreme court 1625983 5 Cruz Guevarra Ericka Roundup Reactions To This Week's Supreme Court Decision On Affirmative Action National Public Radio Inc June 24 2016 https www npr org sections codeswitch 2016 06 24 483233119 roundup reactions to this weeks supreme court decision on affirmative action 6 Liptak Adam Supreme Court Upholds Affirmative Action Program at University of Texas The New York Times June 23 2016 https www nytimes com 2016 06 24 us politics supreme court affirmative action university of texas html 7 Gordon Lewis R The Problem with Affirmative Action Truthout August 15 2011 http www truth out org opinion item 2640 the problem with affirmative action 8 Newkirk II Vann R The Myth of Reverse Racism the Atlantic August 5 2017 https www theatlantic com education archive 2017 08 myth of reverse racism 535689 9 Newkirk II Vann R The Myth of Reverse Racism the Atlantic August 5 2017 https www theatlantic com education archive 2017 08 myth of reverse racism 535689

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