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Affirmative action case is step in the right direction

The United States Supreme Court decided on Tuesday to try the case Fisher v. University of Texas. This case will likely be a landmark one, as the verdict will decide the fate of the ever-controversial college admission policy known as affirmative action. Abigail Fisher, a white student who was rejected from the University of Texas in 2008, is suing on grounds that her grades were better than those of some of the racial minority students accepted into the university.

Whatever the Supreme Court’s final decision on the case may be, The Tartan supports the Court’s initiative to reassess affirmative action legislation concerning college admission.

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor provided the swing vote to set a precedent for race-based admissions in 2003 with Grutter v. Bollinger, saying, “We expect that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary.” Therefore, many assumed that the issue was settled, at least for that period of time.

Yet, affirmative action in college admission has continued to be a hot-button issue long after the ruling in 2003. We believe that it is the Supreme Court’s primary job to set precedents, but just as important is its duty to follow up on those precedents, to reassess them and determine if they are still necessary and effective. By taking on Fisher v. University of Texas, the Court can strive to accomplish the latter.

Supporters of affirmative action fear that the Court took on the case because the conservative-leaning majority — which includes Clarence Thomas, who has often spoken out against affirmative action — will choose to simply overturn the 2003 verdict.

Hopefully, the Court will review the effectiveness of race-based admissions over the past nine years from a nonpartisan stance, basing its final decision on how affirmative action has affected colleges and those attending them, and not just on their personal beliefs.

Reevaluating the constitutionality of established laws is necessary to maintain and uphold the principles of the nation.