Federal appeals court rehears Texas race-admissions case - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Federal appeals court rehears Texas race-admissions case

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A Federal court hearing was held Wednesday that could change the way U.T. admits students. The case that was argued stems from a long running lawsuit filed by a white high school student who was not admitted to U.T. back in 2008.

The U.S. Supreme Court, last year, ordered the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to rehear Abigail Fisher's case. The Justices said the Appeals Court didn't properly follow previous case law when it ruled in favor of the University.

The lawsuit will not strike down the use of Affirmative Action in university admissions, but it does make schools prove that factoring in race is the only way to make their campus more diverse. Schools are expected to quantify what's called "Critical Mass," which is the point racial diversity is achieved. Doing that is difficult because specific quotas cannot be used. The process is abstract and can be very subjective.

After the hearing, Fisher was asked why she is continuing to fight, since she ended up getting a degree from LSU.

"I'm going to fight for other people's rights. I would expect that from other people, I would like other people to fight for my rights so I'm fighting for everyone's rights," said Fisher.

U.T. President Bill Powers predicted dire consequences if race cannot be a factor in admissions.

"It would be a setback to diversity, not just to the University of Texas, at universities across the country and remember, universities and their quest for diversity has been a tremendously important factor in diversifying the workplace in America. It would be in my view, a setback for the American dream and a diverse country," said Powers.

A ruling could come in a matter of days or not until sometime next year. Ordering a new trial is a possibility.

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