Has affirmative action run its course? - KMSP-TV

Has affirmative action run its course?

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MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) -

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday in an affirmative action case between a student and the University of Texas.

The question in this case could come down to whether a majority on the bench believes affirmative action has run its course -- that it's no longer necessary in a country that has come far to confront its racially divisive past.

"There's a good chance that affirmative action, at least in the case of education, is on the chopping block," said Thomas Goldstein, a Washington appellate attorney and SCOTUSblog.com editor.

The main issue here is do universities' race-conscious admission policies violate the rights of white applicants?

Abagail Fisher is arguing it does. She is white and applied to UT.

If you are in the top 10 percent of your high school class in Texas, you are automatically admitted to the University of Texas. But, Fisher was just outside the top 10 percent. She did not get in and is saying she was denied because for the remaining slots, the school considers an applicant's race as one of many factors to improve diversity.

Fisher argues that the top 10 percent law is sufficient for boosting racial diversity.

So, has affirmative action run its course? It may have made sense decades ago, but is it necessary now for schools that want to have diversity anyway? And if affirmative action went away, are there really schools that would start racially discriminating?

Fisher is arguing no. While others say it is still an important tool in the toolbox to make sure our universities are as diverse as possible. Because, they argue, a diverse atmosphere makes better informed people and a more tolerant society.

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