Fisher, et al. v. State of Texas, et al., No. 09-50822 (5th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff filed suit against UT alleging that UT's race-conscious admissions program violated the Fourteenth Amendment. The Supreme Court vacated the court's affirmance of the district court's grant of summary judgment to UT, holding that this court and the district court reviewed UT's means to the end of a diverse student body with undue deference. The Supreme Court ordered that this court must give a more exacting scrutiny to UT's efforts to achieve diversity. Any UT college applicant not offered admission either through the Top Ten Percent Law or through an exceptionally high Academic Index (AI) score is evaluated through the holistic review process. The court concluded that plaintiff had standing to challenge the injury she alleged, the use of race in UT's admissions program for the entering freshman class of Fall 2008; there is no clear benefit to remanding this case to the district court; on the merits, the holistic review is a necessary complement to the Top Ten Percent Plan, enabling it to operate without reducing itself to a cover for a quota system; and, in doing so, its limited use of race is narrowly tailored to this role - as small a part as possible for the Plan to succeed. The court was satisfied that UT had demonstrated that race-conscious holistic review is necessary to make the Top Ten Percent Plan workable by patching the holes that a mechanical admissions program leaves in its ability to achieve the rich diversity that contributes to its academic mission - as described by California v. Bakke and Grutter v. Bollinger. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment.
This opinion or order relates to an opinion or order originally issued on February 1, 2011.