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Supreme Court may hear new challenge to affirmative action

31st October 2011   ·   0 Comments

(Special to the Trice Edney News Wire from the Afro American Newspapers) — Supreme Court justices will likely agree to hear an affirmative action case of a white student who said she was denied admission to a top college due to her race, according to a New York Times report. A decision on whether affirmative action will be eliminated in public universities could be made by June.

Abigail Fisher, a white student, said she was not accepted by the University of Texas in favor of more diverse but less-qualified candidates, who the campus considers a minority. The lawsuit challenges whether policies and procedures at UT, which grants preferences to students based on race, violates the Equal Pro­tection Clause of the Fourteenth Amend­ment of the U.S. Con­stitution.

John A. Payton, president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, told The New York Times that studies show diversity is needed in colleges and universities.

“There is no longer any doubt as to the educational benefits of racially diverse students learning together and from each other,” he said.

But Peter Wood, the author of Diversity: The Invention of a Concept and a critic, said there is a problem with the educational value placed on racial diversity.

“The part of diversity that matters to me and a lot of academics is the intellectual diversity of the classroom,” he said. “The pursuit of a genuine variety of opinions that are well-thought-through and well-grounded is essential. But that has an off-and-on, hit-or-miss connection with ethnic and racial diversity.

This article was originally published in the October 31, 2011 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper

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