Students for Fair Admissions Files New Federal Lawsuit Against the Univ. of Texas-Austin

(Arlington, VA) Today, Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) announces that it has filed a new lawsuit in federal court challenging the race-based admissions policies of the University of Texas at Austin.

SFFA sued the Univ. of Texas in Texas state court in 2018 on behalf of some rejected students alleging the school was not permitted under the Texas Constitution to use racial or ethnic classifications or preferences in the admissions process. This lawsuit was dropped on July 10, 2020.

The new complaint can be found here.

In 2016, the Supreme Court in Fisher v. University of Texas found that UT-Austin’s race-based admissions policies—as implemented in 2008—were lawful under the Equal Protection Clause. But the Supreme Court warned that “affirmance of the University’s admissions policy today does not necessarily mean the University may rely on that same policy without refinement.” UT‑Austin had an “ongoing obligation to engage in constant deliberation and continued reflection regarding its admissions policies,” including whether “changing demographics have undermined the need for a race-conscious policy.”  

Things in Texas have changed dramatically since 2008 when Ms. Fisher filed her lawsuit. In 2008, the majority of those admitted to UT-Austin were white. By 2018, however, barely a third of those admitted to UT-Austin were white. Texas’s race-neutral Top Ten Percent Plan has driven this increased diversity.

Edward Blum, President of SFFA, said: “The Supreme Court did not give the University of Texas a blank check to use race-based preferences in perpetuity, and the university has failed its obligation to reexamine its policies. This blatant failure to follow the Court’s instructions is confirmation that Grutter will need to be overruled in order to restore the Equal Protection Clause’s command of racial neutrality.”  

SFFA’s lawsuit alleges that the university’s race-based admissions policies violate federal and state law. The lawsuit seeks an injunction forbidding the university from using race in the admissions process.

SFFA is a nonprofit membership group of more than 20,000 students, parents, and others who believe that racial classifications and preferences in college admissions are unfair, unnecessary, and unconstitutional. Current SFFA litigation includes lawsuits against Harvard and the Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.