Legal News of the Day: SCOTUS Limits Use of Affirmative Action

Today, the Supreme Court finally issued its decision in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, which challenged the university’s use of race in its admission process for undergraduates.  The Court did not outlaw affirmative action programs, as many had feared, instead reinforcing that the use of affirmative action by a university must meet the “strict scrutiny” test, in a 7-1 decision.  Under this type of scrutiny, a university’s use of affirmative action is constitutional only if it is “narrowly tailored.”  The court went on to explain that courts applying this test will need to confirm that the use of race is necessary to create a diverse student body.  Supreme CourtBecause the lower court in Fisher had not done so, the Court sent the case back down so it could determine whether the University of Texas at Austin could show that the use of race is necessary.

For much more analysis on Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, see SCOTUSblog’s coverage here and here.