Federal Judges Hear Arguments in Texas Affirmative Action Case — Again

November 14, 2013 AT 10:45 AM

The U.S. Supreme Court sent the case back to the lower court in June, instructing them to apply strict scrutiny — a very high level of review — to the university’s argument for considering the race of some applicants.

The overwhelming majority of the university’s students are admitted through the state’s automatic admissions law, which is based entirely on class rank. But applicants who are not admitted because of their high school ranking are subjected to a holistic review, part of which allows the consideration of an applicant's race.

Fisher, a white woman, was denied admission in 2008 after undergoing such a review. She subsequently sued the university, and has pursued the claim after graduating from Louisiana State University and securing a job in Texas.

“I’m going to fight for other people’s rights,” she told reporters on Wednesday, noting that she would receive little personal benefit from a victory. “I would expect other people to fight for my rights, so I’m fighting for everyone’s rights.”

According to the Supreme Court’s ruling, when the federal court judges previously affirmed UT's practice, they were too inclined to take the university representatives at their word when they said the consideration of race was a necessary component of the review process that helped the institution meet its diversity goals.

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