HomeNewsCommunity UpdatesAppeals Court Upholds Importance of Diversity in Fisher v. UT Austin

Appeals Court Upholds Importance of Diversity in Fisher v. UT Austin

u-texas-austin-towerimage © UT AustinOn July 15, 2014, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit announced its decision (PDF) in the case of Fisher v. University of Texas [UT] at Austin, a closely watched case challenging UT Austin’s consideration of race as a part of its admission policy. In a 2-1 decision, the Appeals Court found in favor of UT Austin. The majority wrote, “It is equally settled that universities may use race as part of a holistic admissions program where it cannot otherwise achieve diversity.” The court continued, “This interest is compelled by the reality that university education is more the shaping of lives than the filling of heads with facts—the classic assertion of the humanities.”

In August 2012, ARL joined an amicus brief (PDF) filed on behalf of 40 higher education associations in support of the University of Texas policy. In June 2013, the Supreme Court held that the Fifth Circuit had not applied the correct level of scrutiny to the policy and sent the case back to the Fifth Circuit for review, maintaining the legal principle that the educational benefits of a diverse student body are a compelling governmental interest.


The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 125 research libraries in the US and Canada. ARL’s mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise, facilitating the emergence of new roles for research libraries, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations. ARL is on the web at http://www.arl.org/.

 
 
 
 

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