SCOTUS Affirmative Action Ruling Could Bring More Litigation

An IU professor says because the Supreme Court did not hand down a definitive ruling, universities should prepare for an influx of new lawsuits.

iu students

Photo: Bill Shaw/WTIU News

Students walk through Indiana University's campus.

The Supreme Court sent a case challenging the University of Texas’ affirmative action program back to a lower court on Monday.

Since the Supreme Court did not make a clear decision on the affirmative action case,  Universities will likely be facing an influx in litigation.

Universities are going to need to prepare for more these kind of  lawsuits, says Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs Associate professor Beth Cate.

“Even though the Fischer case may take some time to wind its way back through the Fifth circuits and maybe even the lower court, then maybe up again to the Supreme Court, there will be other litigation in the mean time,” Cate says. “Because I think the opponents of the use of race in admissions are going to be gearing up for further litigation and testing other programs.”

The Supreme Court’s decision does indicate universities need to be able to prove their programs are narrowly tailored enough to meet their stated goals of diversity and that means schools need to be able to articulate why they take race into account in admissions.

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