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A Look at the Science as the Supreme Court Rules on Affirmative Action

The Supreme Court ruled today that the University of Texas may consider race in its admissions. The decision ends a legal saga that started in 2008, when Abigail Fisher sued her state’s university system after she wasn’t admitted to the University of Texas-Austin. Fisher claimed she lost out because she’s white. The university said its admissions process was important to creating a better learning environment for its students.

Pacific Standardwrote about the case in October, when the court opened. As we reported then, studies show having a balance of black and white students in a classroom can foster better discussion and that white students attending affirmative-action schools tend to say they appreciate their schools’ efforts. There are also studiesto suggest race-blind policies aimed at increasing how many low-income students enter colleges, for example, wouldn’t achieve the kind of diversity as policies that consider race and ethnicity.

The resolution of Fisher v. University of Texas doesn’t settle the affirmative action debate in America. The way the Supreme Court justices wrote about Fisher’s case aimed to narrow their decision to apply only to the University of Texas, SCOTUSblog reports. Numerous students have brought affirmative action cases to the Supreme Court before Fisher — to varying success — and probably will in the future.