Cert Petition Filed in University of Texas Case

by Roger Clegg

A petition for a writ of certiorari was filed with the U.S. Supreme Court late yesterday in Fisher v. University of Texas, a case that has been discussed on PBC and that challenges the use of racial and ethnic preferences in undergraduate admissions at the University of Texas. Most of the petition argues that the university’s discrimination goes way beyond what was allowed in Grutter v. Bollinger, the 2003 decision in which the Court allowed limited use of such preferences. But the last sentence in the petition reads, “If the [lower court's] reading of Grutter is correct, however, Grutter should be clarified or reconsidered to restore the integrity of the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection.” Indeed, the University of Texas’s hamhanded use of race — to say nothing of the University of Wisconsin’s policies, as revealed this week and as also discussed on PBC — shows that the Supreme Court needs to take another look at this issue. The Court may have thought it was leaving the door to racial preferences only a slightly ajar, but universities are (predictably) trying to drive a truck through it.