Supreme Court: Diversity Is Important In Higher Education
[The Supreme Court: Op-Ed]
In a 7-1 decision in Fisher v. University of Texas, the U.S. Supreme Court considered but did not resolve the constitutionality of the admissions program at the University of Texas, which considers race as one factor among many in choosing the incoming class.
Instead, the court sent the case back to the lower courts in an opinion that accepted the importance of diversity in higher education, but directed the lower courts to look more carefully at the method by which the university sought to achieve that goal. The American Civil Liberties Union was one of many groups that filed an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to uphold the Texas plan.
Today's near-unanimous decision leaves intact the important principle that universities have a compelling interest in a diverse student body, and that race can be one factor among many that universities consider in a carefully crafted admissions program. We believe that the University of Texas has made a strong showing that its admissions plan was necessary to achieve meaningful diversity, and that it can and should be upheld under the standard that the Supreme Court announced today.
Dennis Parker is director of the ACLU's Racial Justice Program.