Court Continues To Allow Affirmative Action In College Admissions

WASHINGTON (AP) - For now, affirmative action in college admissions can still survive the scrutiny of the Supreme Court.

In a ruling that avoided some difficult constitutional issues, the justices said a court may approve the use of race as a factor in admissions -- but only after it concludes that "no workable race-neutral alternatives would produce the educational benefits of diversity."

The decision didn't question the underpinnings of affirmative action, which the court last reaffirmed a decade ago.

The high court ordered the federal appeals court in New Orleans to take another look at the case of Abigail Fisher. She's a white Texan who wasn't offered a spot at the University of Texas in Austin in 2008. She has since received a degree from Louisiana State.

The justices said the appeals court didn't apply the highest level of judicial scrutiny when it upheld a Texas plan that uses race as one among many factors in admitting about a quarter of the university's incoming freshmen. The school gives the bulk of the slots to Texans who are admitted based on their high school class rank, without regard to race.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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