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Justices to re-examine use of race in college admissions
October 8th, 2012
07:00 AM ET

Justices to re-examine use of race in college admissions

By Bill Mears, CNN Supreme Court Producer

"Ye shall know the Truth and the Truth shall make you free" - from the Bible (John 8:32), inscribed on the facade of the the University of Texas at Austin Main Building ..."Equal Justice Under Law" - inscription above the U.S. Supreme Court Building

(CNN) - Heman Marion Sweatt and Abigail Noel Fisher both wanted to attend the University of Texas at Austin.
Both claimed their race was a primary reason for their rejection. Both filed civil rights lawsuits, and the Supreme Court ultimately agreed to hear their separate appeals - filed more than half a century apart.

Their cases share much in common - vexing questions of competition, fairness, and demographics - and what role government should play when promoting political and social diversity.

But it is the key difference between these plaintiffs - separated by three generations and a troubled road to "equality" - that now confronts the nation's highest court: Sweatt was black, Fisher is white.

Sweatt's 1950 case produced a landmark court ruling that set the stage for the eventual end of racial segregation in public facilities.

Fisher's case will be heard by the justices Wednesday. The question here could come down to whether a majority on the bench believes affirmative action has run its course - no longer necessary in a country that has come far to confront its racially divisive past, a country that has a president who is African-American.

"There's a good chance that affirmative action, at least in the case of education, is on the chopping block," said Thomas Goldstein, a Washington appellate attorney and SCOTUSblog.com editor.

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Filed under: Education • History • Race • Where we live
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Jorge

    So true, it reeks of "I'm not prejudiced, I have a black friend."

    October 9, 2012 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
  2. Hypocritical Article

    I love how the article says using 'race' in college admissions is wrong as well it should be. But, then it goes on to say that we have an 'african-american president'. He is half white you numb nuts. By calling him black , you are using the one drop LIE which says that people who are biracial have to claim one side. Its even WORSE if you are part black because they say you are TAINTED with african blood and therefore must claim black. COMPLETE BS.

    In a country with millions of biracial and multi-racial people, its time for the media to get with the program.

    October 8, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |