Fisher v. University of Texas: News & Resources

Fisher v. University of Texas, 579 U.S. ____ (2016) (Fisher II)

July 2016 by Access & Diversity Collaborative
“Unpacking Fisher II and Its Possible Implications for Institutions” 
Listen to the recording of the webinar conducted on July 14, 2016. This webinar included discussion of the elements of the decision as well as its potential implications for other institutions. Speakers: Art Coleman, Managing Partner, EducationCounsel; Terri Taylor, Senior Legal and Policy Advisor, EducationCounsel; Brad Quin, Executive Director, Higher Education Advocacy & Special Initiatives, The College Board.

June 2016 by Arthur L. Coleman, EducationCounsel LLC
5 Lessons to Take From the Fisher Decision
The gasps heard in higher-education circles around midmorning on Thursday were not, as anticipated, expressions of dismay. Rather, with the U.S. Supreme Court’s 4-3 decision in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin (Fisher II), the mood among higher-education leaders was one of apparent shock — and delight. Many had feared that the court’s hearing the case for the second time in three years would portend a significant pivot. Some had even forecast the end of affirmative action as a result.

June 2016 by the Supreme Court of the United States
Slip Opinion: Fisher v. University of Tex. at Austin

The "slip" opinion is the second version of an opinion. It is sent to the printer later in the day on which the "bench" opinion is released by the Court. Each slip opinion has the same elements as the bench opinion--majority or plurality opinion, concurrences or dissents, and a prefatory syllabus--but may contain corrections not appearing in the bench opinion....These opinions are posted on the Website within minutes after the bench opinions are issued and will remain posted until the opinions for the entire Term are published in the bound volumes of the United States Reports

June 2016 by the College Board's Access & Diversity Collaborative
The U.S. Supreme Court's Second Ruling in Fisher v. University of Texas: Preliminary Q&A on the Decision and Its Possible Implications

This preliminary Q&A is intended to provide clear, concise guidance on important points and key takeaways to assist institutional and organizational leaders in crafting their immediate responses to the decision and strategies moving forward. After a brief review of the background and procedural history of the case, it answers 11 key questions that practitioners and policymakers may have at this time.

June 2016 by Emma Pettit
Why Twitter Is Calling Abigail Fisher ‘Becky With the Bad Grades’: A Brief Explainer
After the Supreme Court upheld the use of race-conscious admissions at the University of Texas at Austin in a 4-to-3 decision on Thursday morning, Twitter did what Twitter does best: generated a pop-culture mashup.

June 2016 by Lorelle L. Espinosa and Peter McDonough, American Council on Education
The Supreme Court Frees Colleges to Sensibly Pursue Diversity

In its second Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin decision (Fisher II) the Supreme Court on Thursday wisely reaffirmed the long-held legal principle that obtaining the educational benefits of a diverse student body is a compelling government interest. The court also signaled, during a time of deep unrest and debate regarding diversity and inclusion on college campuses nationwide, something salient and undeniable: Race matters.

March 2016 by the College Board's Access & Diversity Collaborative
Bridging the Research to Practice Gap.
Achieving Mission-Driven Diversity and Inclusion Goals: A Review of Research Findings and Policy Implications for Colleges and Universities

The challenge today is to learn from and leverage existing research, translating general findings to specific contexts and for different audiences. That effort can help ensure that an institution’s mission‐driven diversity and inclusion goals are clearly defined, effectively pursued, and legally permissible. With a special (though not exclusive) focus on racial and ethnic diversity, this paper is intended to support those efforts by: 1. Surveying the current research landscape related to student diversity in higher education for areas of strength and areas in need of further exploration; 2. Suggesting prospective research directions that may inform action within individual institutions and in the broader higher education community; and 3. Identifying policy and practice implications for institutions in a shifting political and legal landscape.

February 2016 by Eric Hoover and Eric Kelderman, The Chronicle of Higher Education
Antonin Scalia’s Death Probably Won’t Affect ‘Fisher,’ but It Could Change the Future of Affirmative Action

The death on Saturday of Antonin Scalia, the sharp-tongued justice who shaped constitutional debates for nearly 30 years, could end up shifting the Supreme Court’s ideological balance. But his absence is unlikely to affect the highly anticipated ruling in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, the pending legal challenge to race-conscious college-admissions policies. In short, the math still seems to favor the court’s conservative wing.

November 2015 by Counsel of Record Liliana Garces representing 832 social scientists
More than 800 Scholars File Brief with U.S. Supreme Court Supporting Diversity Policies in College Admissions
More than 800 social scientists from all parts of the U.S. recently submitted a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court presenting evidence on the need to maintain colleges’ rights to consider race as one of many factors in selecting students. We believe that this brief is the most massive outpouring of scholarly support ever for a social science brief in a civil rights case.

Fisher v. University of Texas, 570 U.S. ____ (2013) (Fisher I)

July 2014
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal's Second Ruling in Fisher v. University of Texas: The Decision and Its Implications

This legal update provides a brief background and history of the case, a detailed analysis of the ruling, and key takeaways for practitioners and policymakers.

July 2014
Appeals Court Backs Use of Race in U. of Texas Admissions

A federal appeals court upheld the University of Texas at Austin's consideration of race in admissions. The ruling came in a case in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that public colleges could consider race in admissions, but only under strict conditions. Critics of affirmative action have hoped that those conditions were sufficiently narrow that when the appeals court took another look at UT Austin's admissions policies, they would not meet those tests.

June 2014
Emphasis Added: Fisher v. University of Texas and Its Practical Implications for Institutions of Higher Education
This essay includes a discussion of key policy and legal contextual points, the Fisher decision itself, and practical implications of the decision. The authors titled the essay “Emphasis Added” not only to call attention to the Court’s amplification of key elements from prior cases, as well as its shift in tone, but also to ensure that the Fisher decision is understood as a decision of consequence.

September 2013
Questions and Answers About Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin
The U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights provides questions and answers with information about the Fisher decision.

September 2013
Fisher v_ University of Texas
This two-page ADEA document was created to give ADEA staff a quick and easy way of understanding Fisher and what ADEA thinks about the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 2013 decision. The first page uses material from Preparing to Lead in the Post-Fisher Era, organized in a bulleted list format. This summary of key Preparing to Lead points is paired with a sheet that comes from Understanding Fisher v. the University of Texas.

August 2013
Preparing to Lead in the Post-Fisher Era

ADEA President and CEO Dr. Rick Valachovic alerts ADEA’s Charting Progress readers to the implications of the Supreme Court’s Fisher decision and outlines ways that ADEA plans to assist its members in the decision’s aftermath.

July 2013
Understanding Fisher v. the University of Texas: Policy Implications of What the U.S. Supreme Court Did (and Didn't) Say About Diversity and the Use of Race and Ethnicity in College Admissions

This guidance was developed to provide institutions of higher education and higher education leaders with an analysis of the U.S. Supreme Court's Fisher decision. It provides brief background on the case, analyzes the decision itself, and frames key takeaways and policy implications for institutions of higher education. The Appendix provides a chart that compares Fisher and Grutter/Gratz on foundational principles.