University to file brief regarding Fisher v. UT case

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UT will file a brief to the Supreme Court regarding the Abigail Fisher v. University of Texas case on Monday, according to University spokesperson Gary Susswein.

The brief will respond to a brief filed by plaintiff Abigail Fisher in September. Susswein said Fisher’s party will also have a chance to respond to UT’s brief.

The case challenges the constitutionality of UT’s affirmative action policies. UT denied admission to Fisher — who is white — in 2008, who then sued the University on charges of racial and ethnic discrimination. The Supreme Court heard the case in 2013 and sent it back to the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals for further review. The 5th Circuit ruled that UT did not discriminate against Fisher based on race. On June 29, 2015, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case for a second time. Oral argument is scheduled for Dec. 9, 2015.

President Gregory Fenves said he believes the University’s admission policies are constitutional, according to an official statement.

“Under the Supreme Court’s existing precedent, the University’s commitment to using race as one factor in an individualized, holistic admissions policy allows us to assemble a student body that brings with it the educational benefits of diversity for all students,” the statement read. “Our admissions policy is narrowly-tailored, constitutional and has been upheld by the courts multiple times.”

In a statement to The New York Times, Fisher said she hopes the judges will rule in favor of admissions not based on race or ethnicity. 

“I hope the justices will rule that UT is not allowed to treat undergraduate applicants differently because of their race or ethnicity,” Fisher said.