Todd J. Gillman
WASHINGTON – Abigail Noel Fisher, the student who challenged the University of Texas at Austin’s admissions policies, call today’s Supreme Court’s ruling a victory.
“I’m grateful to the justices for moving the nation closer to a day when students’ race isn’t used at all in college admissions,” she said in Washington, flanked by parents Rosalie and Richard Fisher, and Edward Blum, a conservative attorney who recruited her as a plaintiff.
Civil rights advocates and UT officials have spun the ruling as a vindication of affirmative action; the high court might have used the case to sweep aside race-conscious college admissions, after all. Blum called that reading badly mistaken.
“If they’re excited about this ruling I think it’s gravely misplaced,” he said, because the court erected “incredibly high hurdles” for UT and other schools to use race when making admission decisions.
“The court’s opinion suggests that schools currently using racial preferences in admissions now should end those practices, and instead institute race-neutral alternatives to achieve diversity,” Blum asserted, warning of “costly and polarizing” litigation for any schools that persist with such policies.
“This is a win. There’s no other way to characterize this,” said Blum, head of the Project on Fair Representation, which seeks to eliminate racial preferences.
Having been rejected by UT in 2008, Fisher enrolled at Louisiana State University and graduated last year. She now lives in Austin. “I have a job…. I still bowl and everything and I’m in county orchestra. I’m just living my life like a regular person,” she said.
She spoke at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank where Blum currently is a visiting fellow.
See the Supreme Court opinion here