Supreme Court takes up affirmative action case a second time

Native women and their supporters rallied at the U.S. Supreme Court on December 7, 2015, as the justices heard Dollar General Corporation v. Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, a tribal jurisdiction case. Photo by Indianz.Com

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, an affirmative action case, on Wednesday.

Abigail Fisher sued the University of Texas after she claimed she was denied admission based on her race. The high court heard the case before but did not rule on the merits of the school's affirmative action policy when it issued a decision in June 2013.

According to news reports, a majority of the court now appears ready to determine that the policy is unconstitutional. Attention is centering on comments from Justice Antonin Scalia, who argued that affirmative action ends up hurting minority students, a frequent claim made by conservative opponents.

"There are ­­ those who contend that it does not benefit African-­Americans to ­­ get them into the University of Texas where they do not do well, as opposed to having them go to a less ­advanced school -- slower-­track school -- where they do well," Scalia said during the hearing, according to the transcript.

"I don't think it stands to reason that it's a good thing for the University of Texas to admit as many Blacks as possible," Scalia said later.

The New York Times said the remarks drew "muted gasps in the courtroom."

Get the Story:
Black caucus member: Scalia's race comments 'shocking,' 'abhorrent' (The Hill 12/10)
Reid: Scalia's 'racist' comments worse than Trump (The Hill 12/10)
Where Justice Scalia got the idea that African Americans might be better off at ‘slower-track’ universities (The Washington Post 12/10)
Court divided over University of Texas race-conscious admissions (The Washington Post 12/10)
Supreme Court Justices’ Comments Don’t Bode Well for Affirmative Action (The New York Times 12/20)
Argument analysis: Now, three options on college affirmative action (SCOTUSBlog 12/9)

Relevant Documents:
Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin (December 9, 2015)

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