Affirmative Action: Fisher v The University of Texas
Affirmative Action. For many Texas high school students, these two words haunt them. Their future, or at least their future at the University of Texas, depends on these words. For Abigail Noel Fisher, a 2008 graduate from Sugar Land, Texas, affirmative action and its race bias policies allegedly ruined her chances of getting into this prestigious state university. Fisher argues that race should not be a factor in college admissions processes, Fisher argues for equality. Equality in respect to race is in our constitution; it surrounds us everyday. In theory, race should be irrelevant in this day and age. Humanity has established that one race is not superior to another, so why should race matter at all in the college admissions process? Why should the University of Texas, or any other university, have that “check your race” box on their applications? Abigail Fisher, and every other person applying to the university, deserves as much opportunity as every other student of any race. When it comes to college, intelligence and character should be key to admission- not the color of the applicant’s skin. The University of Texas’ current affirmative action policy is an unfair college admissions process that the Supreme Court should ban so that admissions are based on intellectual ability in high school, national testing scores, extracurricular activities, and community service; this should be changed so that every person, regardless of race, has equal opportunity to be accepted into the university of their choosing. In Ralph K.M. Haurwitz’s article for the Austin American Statesman, titled “UT’s Race-conscious Admission Policy Facing Supreme Court Test”, he clearly outlines the background of affirmative action as it applies to universities, and the current situation at the University of Texas. Abigail Noel Fisher, a caucasian woman, is the person currently charging UT with biased admissions due to race (Editorial Board). Fisher’s case is not the first about affirmative action; the first was in 1996, and is known as Hopwood. Hopwood effectively banned public universities, including UT, from using affirmative action in admissions. In 1997, UT enacted their top 10 percent law, which allows all seniors graduating from the top 10 percent of their Texas high school automatic admission into UT. A new development in 2003, the Michigan Law School case, known as Grutter v. Bollinger, resulted in the Supreme Court upholding affirmative action, overturning Hopwood. Therefore, two years later, UT resumed considering race and ethnicity in their admissions process. In 2008, two white students who were rejected from the university that year, Fisher being one of them, sued UT, “claiming its consideration of race and ethnicity violates their civil and constitutional rights” (Haurwitz). Now in 2012, the Supreme Court has agreed to review Fisher’s case with hopes of “clarifying the boundaries of race preferences in higher education or even reconsidering whether race (preferences) should be permitted at all under the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection” (Haurwitz). Fisher thinks that race should be outlawed completely from consideration, and rightly so. It is indeed unconstitutional and racist, for multiple reasons. The current admissions policy for the University of Texas is such: all students in the top ten percent of their graduating class in Texas high schools are automatically admitted to make up three-fourths of the incoming freshman class each year. The remaining applicants are put into a pool, and they are judged on accomplishments, essays, testing scores, and most relevantly to this case, race, to make up the remaining fourth of the class (Hart). The top ten percent law is an unbiased, fail-proof admissions process. Our constitution, the legal document by which we live, states that every person is equal. Now, with every human being as an equal, it only makes sense that every...
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