👩🏽‍⚖️ Affirmative action is in court yet again 

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Doesn’t it seem like Abigail Fisher v. University of Texas happened just yesterday? Or the Harvard Admissions case

On the heels of those stories, another major affirmative action case is hitting the courts, this time involving the University of North Carolina

  • The case, which started in a federal courtroom Monday, shares similarities with past legal disputes: The lawsuit accuses UNC of favoring Black and Hispanic applicants over white and Asian applicants. It was brought forth by Students for Fair Admissions, the conservative activist-backed group that spearheaded the Fisher case and the Harvard case.  

  • But there are key differences: Students for Fair Admissions argues UNC makes race too heavy a factor in its admissions process, almost guaranteeing the acceptance of nonwhite students. In the Harvard case, it argued Asian-American applicants were held to higher standards than others.

  • UNC countered that it has an individualized admissions process: University officials say they do not have race quotas in their admissions and many students do not list their race. For 40-some years, the Supreme Court has held diversity can be a factor in the admissions process, but racial quotas are not allowed. 

The Verdict

Whatever the decision in the North Carolina case, it will be appealed as far as possible. The same is true for the Harvard case, which was argued at the federal appeals level in September after a district court sided with Harvard in February. And Students for Fair Admissions has another lawsuit in the works against the University of Texas.  

In other words, the Supreme Court, with a 6-3 conservative majority, will likely have its pick of an affirmative action dispute in the relatively near future.