UT Austin faces lawsuit alleging 2 white applicants were unfairly rejected because of race

by Laura Mize · Jul 23rd, 2020 12:29 pm

Last Updated Jul 24th, 2020 at 12:07 am

The national nonprofit group Students for Fair Admissions filed a lawsuit Monday in federal court against the University of Texas at Austin, alleging the university unfairly refused admission to two students because they are white.

The suit does not name the two applicants, but says they did not have a fair shot at admission to highly selective flagship university of Texas because of their race. The University of Texas considers race in what it calls a "holistic admission process," which the suit says violates state and federal law, as well as the 14th Amendment.

In 2016, the United States Supreme Court found in favor of UT in another suit brought in 2008 by Edward Blum, founder of Students for Fair Admissions. Blum has been challenging affirmative action in college admissions for years.

In a recent statement, Blum said the court asked UT in 2016 to take another look at the role race plays in its admissions process.

"The Supreme Court did not give the University of Texas a blank check to use race-based preferences in perpetuity, and the university has failed its obligation to reexamine its policies," he said.

Blum and his organization also sued UT in 2018, but a judge recently dismissed that case. In 2019, SFFA lost a similar suit against Harvard University.

" ... We remain confident in the lawfulness and constitutionality of UT Austin's holistic admissions policy, which the U.S. Supreme Court upheld in 2016," university spokesman J.T. Bird said in a statement.

Earlier this month, UT Austin unveiled its new plan "to promote diversity, inclusion, and equity and to more fully support black students on campus." The plan includes boosting efforts to attract "underrepresented" high school students, "explor[ing] creative approaches to on-campus safety and wellness issues," and "a multimillion-dollar investment" into recruiting and keeping black students.


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