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Resources Related to Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin

This case reexamines the Supreme Court’s decisions interpreting the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, including Grutter v. Bollinger, with regards to University of Texas at Austin’s use of race in undergraduate admissions decisions.

Briefs, Statements and Other Resources about the case by the Civil Rights Project

  • Brief of 823 Social Scientists as Amici Curiae in Support of Respondents (2015)
    When the Supreme Court decided to take the University of Texas affirmative action case for a second time, this 2nd friend-of-the-court brief was submitted to the Supreme Court on October 30, 2015, to present evidence on the need to maintain colleges’ rights to consider race as one of many factors in selecting students. 
  • Brief of American Social Science Researchers (2012)
    The Supreme Court must decide two central constitutional questions in reaching its ruling, both of which can be addressed by research. This brief focuses on evidence from across the country relating to the University’s consideration of race, as one of many factors in evaluating applicants, and as an essential tool to producing a diverse and integrated educational community. It shows that the University and other institutions would lose educationally critical diversity without such policies given the inequality of opportunity in America’s unequal schools and communities. It was filed by the Civil Rights Project on August 9, 2012. A list of Resource Materials for the Brief of American Social Science Researchers contains links to works cited in this document.          
  • Statement of Nation’s Leading Constitutional Law Scholars on U.S. Supreme Court’s Ruling (2013)
    This statement of scholars is an independent assessment of the ruling in Fisher v. University of Texas, at Austin, announced June 24, 2013 by the U.S. Supreme Court. The statement hails the reaffirmation of the precedents of the last 35 years supporting affirmative action, and concludes that there is no reason for colleges to abandon their programs. The statement also advises universities that they will need to provide ongoing documentation of the reasons for their plan and that their consideration of race is carried out to the degree necessary to achieve diversity. This statement can be of great assistance to college leaders and college communities across the nation.

Related Research by CRP and partners

  • After Fisher: What the Supreme Court's Ruling: Means for Students, Colleges, and the Country (2016)
    A press briefing organized by the American Educational Research Association took place on June 28, 2016 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The briefing featured a panel of five experts, including Gary Orfield, Theodore M. Shaw, Stella M. Flores, Liliana M. Garces, and Angelo N. Ancheta. The purpose was to address the implications of the decision for ensuring quality education for all students and graduates capable of contributing to the demands of a 21st-century workplace. Issues discussed included next steps in university admissions, best practices for colleges and universities, and potential programs in light of the scientific evidence on the educational benefits of student diversity and the importance of taking race into account. A video of the briefing can be found here.

  • VIDEO from a press briefing (2013) at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., featuring CRP co-director and researchers, is available.
  • Webinar: "After the Supreme Court Affirmative Action Ruling: Does Your Campus Need to Take Action?" is a December 2013 presentation by the Civil Rights Project and geared for use by university counsel, admissions officers, researchers and faculty. The panel of experts includes James Ryan, dean, Harvard Graduate School of Education; Rachel Moran, dean, UCLA School of Law; Catherine Horn, associate professor, University of Houston, and Gary Orfield, professor and co-director, UCLA Civil Rights Project, who moderated the panel.


  • Fisher v. University of Texas (Docket No. 11-345) is a case before the United States Supreme Court concerning the affirmative action admissions policy of the University of Texas at Austin. The case, brought by an undergraduate student in 2008, challenges the admissions policy of the University and the precedent established in Grutter v. Bollinger, a 2003 case in which the Supreme Court ruled that race could play a limited role in the admissions policies of universities. This case challenges many affirmative action policies in admissions at U.S. public universities, policies that CRP research has shown are helpful and necessary.

 Other Case Documents and Resources 








  • The National Center for Institutional Diversity at the University of Michigan sponsored a panel on October 18, 2012. VIDEO of the panel is available on the CRP's YouTube channel. VIDEO of the entire proceeding, "The Supreme Court and Affirmative Action in the 21st Century: Michigan, Texas, and Beyond" can be found here.







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