A 2003 Supreme Court decision, Grutter v. Bollinger, allows for affirmative action to be considered when public universities choose which students to admit. But in the term that begins in October, the Court will hear the case of one white student’s claim that the racial policy kept her from getting a spot in the freshman class at the University of Texas.
The Administration of Barack Obama has previously supported the 2003 Court decision that allows race to be used as a determining factor of university acceptance. In Texas, the policy calls for universities to first accept students in the top 10 academic percentile regardless of race. The institutions then accept all other students from a pool of applicants in which race is considered along with other factors, including community service, leadership qualities, test scores and work experience.
In Fisher v. University of Texas, student Abigail Noel Fisher says that she, being part of the second-round pool of applicants, was unfairly discriminated against by the State’s policy. Her lawyer, Bert Rein, contends that the State’s race-neutral policy for the top 10 already fulfills minority student requirements since 30 percent of enrolling students are from minority groups.
Affirmative action opponents hope the Supreme Court will do away with the race policy, and the issue is expected by some experts to come up during the Presidential election. Republican candidate Ron Paul likely represents the strongest opposition to the affirmative action-friendly Obama Administration.