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By Julie Ajinkya:
On Tuesday the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case, Fisher v. The University of Texas, which may challenge the future of race-conscious admissions at our country’s colleges and universities. If the Court bars the use of race in admissions decisions, it threatens years of hard work by civil rights activists in the higher education field who fought to make college campuses more integrated, diverse, and just …
Conservatives hope that this case will overturn the Court’s 2003 Grutter v. Bollinger ruling that allowed schools to use race as one of the factors in achieving racial diversity in their institutions. The Fisher case claims that the current admissions policy in Texas, which was explicitly formed after the 2003 ruling, is an unconstitutional form of “blatant racial balancing.” But such an interpretation of the role of race in admissions reveals a gross misunderstanding of the 2003 Supreme Court ruling and the role of diversity in higher education.