A lawsuit challenging race-conscious admissions at the University of Texas amounts to a “retread” from a U.S. Supreme Court case that upheld the university’s program and should be thrown out, according to a UT court filing.
Students for Fair Admissions “should not be able to re-litigate this or any other aspect of UT’s admissions policy by dressing up the challenge with state law theories they failed to advance the first time around,” the university argued in papers filed Monday with state district court in Travis County.
The group, which sued the university in June, “attempts to revisit the same set of underlying issues, while totally ignoring the outcome of the prior litigation,” UT added.
Students for Fair Admissions contends that the use of racial and ethnic preferences in admissions at UT violates state law and the Texas Constitution. It says the state’s Bill of Rights provides “more expansive protection against discrimination” than the U.S. Constitution.
Edward Blum, president of the group, also lined up the federal case, Fisher v. UT; in that case, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the university’s use of affirmative action by a 4-3 vote in June 2016. Blum and his allies “cannot accept that each court in their prior litigation ruled against them and determined that UT may lawfully consider race as one of many factors,” the university’s lawyers wrote.
“UT’s pursuit of excellence is grounded in the university’s public mission to provide the highest quality education for every student,” UT President Gregory L. Fenves said in a statement. “The educational benefits of diversity are essential to carry out that mission and prepare students to work in a competitive, global marketplace.”