The US Supreme Court said Tuesday it would rule on whether universities can use an applicant's racial profile to achieve a more diverse student population, an issue it last considered nine years ago.
In 2008, Abigail Fisher, who is white, was refused undergraduate entry to the University of Texas, and she challenged the decision on the basis of race, stating that it violated her constitutional right to equal treatment.
The University of Texas gives admission to students in the top 10 percent of US state high schools, but Fisher did not reach that standard and was placed in a group of applicants where race is considered alongside test scores and other factors.
The claimant believes some students were accepted due to "racial preference as under-represented minorities," despite having poorer academic results than some students who were not admitted, the court said.
Fisher believes that the admissions procedure favored African-Americans and Hispanics in Texas, one of the most ethnically diverse states in the county.
The case should be examined towards the end of this year, shortly before the presidential election in November.
The Supreme Court in 2003 ruled that the use of racial quotas does not violate the Constitution. Since then, however, the composition of the court has changed and is now considered more conservative and skeptical towards racial preferences being used as a factor in educational admissions.
Source: AFP American Edition