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Brief of American Social Science Researchers in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin

Date Published: August 10, 2012

This brief focuses primarily on the means the University uses to leverage the educational benefits of diversity and to serve its institutional mission. A substantial body of research and the extensive experience of educational experts at other postsecondary institutions support the conclusion that the University’s holistic admissions policy is narrowly tailored to further a compelling interest in the educational benefits of diversity – benefits that extend to all students at the University.
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NOTE: Additional documentation can be found here: Resource Materials for the Brief of American Social Science Researchers.

From the Introduction

Pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 37, the undersigned social scientists submit this brief as amici curiae in support of Respondents. Amici curiae are social scientists and scholars who have extensively studied issues related to diversity, affirmative action, desegregation, and race relations in higher education institutions and in society. Collectively, amici curiae include 444 researchers from 42 states and from 172 educational institutions and research centers throughout the United States. Their work extends across numerous disciplines, including education, psychology, sociology, demography, economics, political science, and history.

Amici curiae have an interest in presenting to the Court research findings relevant to the educational judgments of The University of Texas at Austin (“the University”), and to the possible implications of the Court’s decision for other institutions and programs. The brief draws from the amici’s original research and their review of the literature, including the most extensive and up-to-date body of knowledge about the Texas Top Ten Percent Law (“the percent plan”).

We believe it is vital that the Court have the newest and most rigorous peer-reviewed research and statistical analyses when considering an issue that is so critical for all of the nation’s selective colleges and universities. The evidence in this brief bears directly on whether the University’s admissions policy withstands strict scrutiny.

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