Supreme Court Upholds Texas Affirmative Action Plan

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Well, not every Supreme Court case ends up in a terrible result. Today, by a surprising 4-3 vote (Scalia’s empty seat and Justice Kagan having recused herself), the Court upheld the University of Texas’ admissions policies which consider race among other factors as considerations for admission. Justice Anthony Kennedy, the author of the Court’s majority opinion, had never voted to uphold an affirmative action plan. Today, he did.

The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the race-conscious admissions program at the University of Texas, saying that the plan taking race into consideration as one factor of admission is constitutional.

The 4-3 ruling greenlights the limited use of affirmative action polices by schools.
“The Court’s affirmance of the University’s admissions policy today does not necessarily mean the University may rely on that same policy without refinement. It is the University’s ongoing obligation to engage in constant deliberation and continued reflection regarding its admissions policies,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion.

If you’re a nerd like me and want to read the opinion (I already have), you can find it here. 20 pages of Kennedy’s opinion, 2 pages of Thomas saying “no, never” to considering race in admissions, and 50 pages of Alito’s snarky frat boy dissent.

A good decision, one that will have significant consequences moving forward.

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