On Monday, the Obama administration submitted a brief by Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. to the U.S. Supreme Court urging the justices to uphold the University of Texas’ use of race in its admission policies.
According to an Associated Press article, the Justice Department stated that a diverse college population was in the university’s, as well as the government’s, best interests. “The armed services and numerous federal agencies have concluded that well-qualified and diverse graduates are crucial to the fulfillment of their missions,” Verrilli said in the brief.
In October, the Supreme Court will hear the case of Abigail Fisher, a white UT applicant who sued the university on the basis that she was the victim of unconstitutional racial discrimination. This will be one of the most divisive cases on the Court’s docket this fall. Only eight justices will hear it, since Justice Elena Kagan has recused herself, citing her ties to the issue while working as solicitor general.
The case has come to the high court in an unusual manner, since there has been no appreciable disagreement among the federal appellate courts on how to apply Supreme Court precedent on affirmative action, according to a Chronicle of Higher Education article.