Last week, the Supreme Court began hearing the Fisher vs. University of Texas case. This case, concerning affirmative action at the University of Texas, threatens to overturn the 2003 Grutter vs. Bollinger, that upheld the use of affirmative action in admissions at the University of Michigan Law School.
Abigail Fisher, a white woman, brought her arguments to the court after being denied admission to the University of Texas in 2008. She believes she was rejected because of her race; she thinks her place in the student body was taken to create more diversity in the school.
The University of Texas has a unique admissions process. In 1997 they passed Texas House Bill 588. This bill instituted the “Top 10% Rule,” wherein the top 10% of every public school in Texas is granted admission to University of Texas. It came to being following Hopwood v. Texas, which showed that the university was not using affirmative action properly and could not use race in admissions.
However, a change came with Grutter vs. Bollinger. In PrezBo’s Freedom of Speech and Press class, he has been candidly discussing the history of affirmative action cases. “I’m an advocate,” PrezBo said last Wednesday. He believes that it supports diversity, which allows students to learn more from each other with differing perspectives. Just as a school wants students from every state and other countries, it wants people with different backgrounds. As he wrote in an article last week in the LA Times, “abandonment of the Grutter precedent would undermine the quality of education we can offer to all our students.” In class, Bollinger cited California Prop 209, which banned the use of race in the admissions process. After it was instituted, he explained, diversity at California schools crashed. He goes into details about this in the LA Times article.
He did not want this happening in Michigan. In fact, he did not want it happening across the nation; Bollinger understood that the ruling in Grutter vs. Bollinger would affect institutions everywhere. He ensured that, bringing together other schools. He then pulled corporations to defend the use of race in hiring. Gerald Ford wrote an op-ed in the New York Times about his college experience with diversity. Bollinger also turned to military academies for their support.