Supreme court questions Texas affirmative action plan - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Supreme court questions Texas affirmative action plan

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Abigail Fisher Abigail Fisher
WASHINGTON -

The University of Texas at Austin was her dream school, but she did not get in. Abigail Fisher came to the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday. She says she didn't get into the University in 2008 because she is white.

"I hope the court rules that race should not be a factor in applying to the University of Texas," says Fisher.

Her attorney Bert Rein stood at the steps of the court and said: "I'm very proud to be here with this young lady. She had the courage to stand up for equality. To stand up for what was right. What we're all entitled to - equal protection under the law."

The university automatically admits most of its students based upon their rank in their high school class. But a quarter of Texas freshman are admitted based upon a formula made up of many factors - one of which is race.

University President Bill Powers says if the Supreme Court prevents that: "We would not be giving the kind of education to all of our students who would be preparing them to work in a global and diverse world. It would be a setback for our students and our society."

Powers says diversity benefits all students, but Chief Justice John Roberts wanted to know how the university would determine when it had a "critical mass" of diversity on campus.

Justice Anthony Kennedy could be a key swing vote. He appeared skeptical, telling the Texas delegation: "What you're saying is what counts is race above all."

Justice Sonia Sotomayor looked favorably on the Texas system, saying Fisher's lawyer wants to "gut" the law.

A decision in the case is not expected until spring.


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