The U.S. Supreme Court today reversed a 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that affirmed a University of Texas admission policy that takes race into account, according to scotusblog.com. The court said a district court summary judgment upheld by the 5th Circuit failed to apply the strict scrutiny required for such policies under previous rulings on affirmative action. Strict scrutiny means any use of race must be be “clearly identified and unquestionably legitimate.” Here’s the opinion.
Said the court in a 7-1 decision:
“The reviewing court must ultimately be satisfied that no workable race-neutral alternatives would produce the educational benefits of diversity.”
The case goes back to the lower court for further review, but that effectively maintains some use of race in admissions for the time being.
It appears the court won’t rule today on challenges to the federal Defense of Marriage Act and the ruling overturning California’s Prop. 8 to ban gay marriage. More opinions expected tomorrow.