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Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin


On October 10, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments for Fisher v. University of Texas. The petitioner, Abigail Fisher, a white student, challenged the university's consideration of race in the undergraduate admissions process. Fisher, who was denied admission to UT Austin in Fall 2008, argued that UT's use of race in admissions decisions violated her right to equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment.

The Fisher litigation resulted in two U.S. Supreme Court decisions:  (1) Fisher v. University of Texas (Fisher I), 570 US 297 (2013) and (2) Fisher v. University of Texas (Fisher II), 579 U. S. 365 (2016).  The court held in Fisher II that the university's admissions system did not violate the equal protection clause.

The U.S. Supreme Court subsequently held in Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President & Fellows of Harvard Coll., 600 U.S. 181 (2023), that the admissions programs at Harvard and the University of North Carolina violated the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.  (See Tarlton's Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. Harvard/UNC research guide).  

Supreme Court Oral Argument (12/9/15)