Man Behind Fisher Affirmative Action Case Files New Lawsuit Against UT-Austin

Jun 27, 2017

The man who helped Abigail Fisher sue the University of Texas at Austin for discrimination in a case that reached the U.S. Supreme Court twice is suing UT-Austin once again.

This time, he claims the university's use of affirmative action violates the Texas Constitution, not the U.S. Constitution. 

Edward Blum's group Students for Fair Admissions filed the suit in Travis County court Tuesday. The group cites the Texas Equal Rights Amendment, which bans discrimination based on "sex, race, color, creed or national origin" in arguing that UT-Austin shouldn't be allowed to give slight preference to minorities in admissions. 

Blum's previous suit spent years in federal courts. It eventually failed, following a 4-3 vote by the U.S. Supreme Court that UT-Austin could consider the race of its applicants as a minor factor. That ruling should have no bearing on how state courts analyze the Texas Constitution, Blum said. 

"We believe that most Texas judges and justices will agree with our interpretation of the Texas Constitution," he said in a press release. 

UT-Austin officials didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. 

The university has been using affirmative action in a limited way since a 2003 U.S. Supreme Court decision made it allowable in Texas. About three-fourths of its Texas students are admitted through an admissions policy known as the Top 10 Percent Rule, which grants automatic admission to students who graduate near the top of their high school's class. UT-Austin considers the race of its applicants as a minor factor when considering the rest of its applicants. 

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From the Texas Tribune