UT defends race-conscious admissions as new legal threat looms

The University of Texas has responded to the prospect of a new legal assault on its use of affirmative action in admissions by defending the legality and purpose of its program.

As the Statesman reported Thursday, the same UT alumnus who took a lawsuit against UT to the U.S. Supreme Court twice, ultimately losing, is recruiting students who were denied admission to the Austin flagship.

Edward Blum, a former stockbroker and onetime candidate for Congress, is president of Students for Fair Admissions, a nonprofit group that on Thursday began inviting students who were rejected by UT to provide grades, test scores and a list of outside activities to help build a new legal case.

I asked UT for a comment and received this emailed statement by Maurie McInnis, the executive vice president and provost:

“Last June, the United States Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of The University of Texas at Austin’s admissions policy in the case of Fisher v. The University of Texas at Austin, affirming the university’s use of race and ethnicity as one factor in our holistic admissions process. The policy, which remains in effect, has not changed since the ruling. Our pursuit of excellence is grounded in the university‚Äôs public mission to provide the highest quality education for every student. Diversity is essential to carry out that mission. The educational benefits of diversity for all students enhance The University of Texas at Austin, the higher education community, and the nation.”

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