Abigail Fisher, and her attorney Ed Blum at the Supreme Court
The Roberts Court (2010-2016). Seated, from left to right: Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., and Justices Anthony M. Kennedy and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Standing, from left to right: Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen G. Breyer, Samuel A. Alito, and Elena Kagan.
Following Grutter, the University of Texas at Austin adopted a race-conscious admissions policy. Race was considered as one of various factors. Abigail Fisher, who is white, sued the university after her application was rejected. She contended that the university’s consideration of race in the admissions process violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
The lower courts ruled against Fisher. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals deferred to the university “both in the definition of the compelling interest in diversity’s benefits and in deciding whether its specific plan was narrowly tailored to achieve its stated goal.” Therefore, the appeals court upheld the admissions policy.