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ERIC Number: EJ1082160
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Nov
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0013-189X
Balancing Liberty and Equality: Justice Kennedy's Decisive Vote in "Fisher v. University of Texas," Part II
Garces, Liliana M.
Educational Researcher, v44 n8 p442-447 Nov 2015
For the second time in three years, the Supreme Court is reviewing the constitutionality of a race-conscious admissions policy at the University of Texas, Austin. While the case, "Fisher v. University of Texas," raises questions specific to UT Austin, the Court's second review could change the ways higher education institutions across the nation can legally consider race in their admissions policies. This essay considers the potential ramifications of the Court's second review. While one cannot predict what the Court will decide, the voting patterns in the first opinion, which sent the case back to the lower court and left prior decisions upholding the constitutionality of race-conscious policies in place, may not hold. Assuming that the justices' votes are consistent with their previous interpretations of the constitutionality of race-conscious admissions, the decision likely will depend on Justice Kennedy. This essay therefore focuses on Kennedy's positions in previous cases addressing the use of race in education policies in which he has cast the decisive vote. The Court's forthcoming decision will not provide easy answers to longstanding questions about how we as a society can account for race in a way that renders it less powerful in shaping life chances. However, unless informed by social science, the way Kennedy resolves the tension he perceives between the constitutional principles of liberty and equity when racial classifications are involved may introduce legal reasoning disconnected from social realities and unnecessary complications for postsecondary institutions that want to provide the educational benefits of a diverse student body. [See the related article: "The University of Texas at Austin's Defense of Affirmative Action in "Fisher v. University of Texas": Lessons for Institutional Policies and Practices", Association of Mexican American Educators Journal, v9 n1 p73-88 2015 at EJ1071863.]
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Texas
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A