2016 June 23

Supreme Court Upholds University of Texas Affirmative Action Plan


In a 4-3 vote, the Supreme Court on this day upheld a University of Texas affirmative action plan for admission to the university. Justice Anthony Kennedy, who had been the swing vote in close decisions, voted with the majority and wrote the majority opinion.

The 4-3 vote was due to the vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia and the recusal of Justice Elena Kagan, who had participated in the case as a member of the Obama administration.

See the Supreme Court’s first decision on affirmative action, where it upheld the concept of affirmative action but held that quotas were unconstitutional: Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, June 28, 1978.

Read: Howard Ball, The Bakke Case: Race, Education, and Affirmative Action (2000)

Learn more about affirmative action from the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights: http://www.civilrights.org/resources/civilrights101/affirmaction.html

See a timeline on affirmative action history: http://www.infoplease.com/spot/affirmativetimeline1.html

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