University of Texas Sued Over Affirmative Action in Admissions

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The same group that sued Harvard over its use of affirmative action in admissions is now taking aim at the University of Texas at Austin in a similar lawsuit.

Students for Fair Admissions, a Virginia-based nonprofit, sued the public university Monday in federal court in Texas on behalf of two White applicants who claim they were denied admission in 2018 and 2019 because of their race.

The school “gives special preference to applicants who fall within racial categories that the university considers ‘underrepresented,’” such as Blacks and Latinos, the lawsuit claim. That in turn “diminishes the chances of admission for White and Asian-American applicants.”

The University of Texas didn’t respond to calls seeking comment.

Students for Fair Admissions is led by Edward Blum, a longtime critic of affirmative action in college admissions who has led multiple legal challenges to such policies, including two earlier unsuccessful lawsuits against the University of Texas.

The group led a high-profile lawsuit against Harvard, claiming its affirmative action policies were biased against Asian-American applicants. A federal appeals court ruled in October that Harvard’s policies weren’t discriminatory.

The students in the Texas lawsuit take particular issue with the university’s policy of “racial balancing,” noting that Black student enrollment has been steady at around 5% each year since 2009. Without affirmative action, the percentage of Black students would fluctuate more, the plaintiffs claim.

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