In 2016, in an important case called Abigail Fisher v. University of Texas-Austin, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that UT’s use of racial classifications and admissions preferences as implemented in 2008 were constitutional.
While we at Students for Fair Admissions were disappointed with that 4-3 decision, the opinion was very narrow in its application. Indeed, the Supreme Court warned UT and all competitive universities that they should not interpret the ruling as meaning that colleges could continue using racial preferences indefinitely. The Court said that schools must continually review race-neutral options for achieving diversity before deciding to treat students differently because of their race or ethnicity.
A lot has changed in Texas and the nation since Abigail Fisher sued UT nearly 10 years ago. Yet most schools including UW-Madison continue to employ a race-based admissions process. We believe that UW-Madison has not met its constitutional obligations and is vulnerable to a new legal challenge.