Monday, June 24, 2013

Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin

Racial discrimination: the University of Texas at Austin considers race as one of various fac­tors in its undergraduate admissions process. The University, which is committed to increasing racial minority enrollment, adopted its current program after this Court decided Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U. S. 306, upholding the use of race as one of many “plus factors” in an admissions program that considered the overall individual contri­bution of each candidate, and decided Gratz v. Bollinger, 539 U. S. 244, holding unconstitutional an admissions program that automati­cally awarded points to applicants from certain racial minorities (…); Held: Because the Fifth Circuit did not hold the University to the de­manding burden of strict scrutiny articulated in Grutter and Regents of Univ. of Cal. v. Bakke, 438 U. S. 265, its decision affirming the Dis­trict Court’s grant of summary judgment to the University was incor­rect; Bakke, Gratz, and Grutter, which directly address the question considered here, are taken as given for purposes of deciding this case. In Bakke’s principal opinion, Justice Powell recognized that state university “decisions based on race or ethnic origin . . . are reviewable under the Fourteenth Amendment,” 438 U. S., at 287, using a strict scrutiny standard, id., at 299. He identified as a compelling interest that could justify the consideration of race the interest in the educa­tional benefits that flow from a diverse student body, but noted that this interest is complex, encompassing a broad array “of qualifica­tions and characteristics of which racial or ethnic origin is but a sin­gle though important element.” Id., at 315. (U.S.S.Ct., 24.06.2013, Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, J. Kennedy).

Discrimination raciale : une université considère la race comme l’un des divers facteurs dans sa procédure d’admission. Le but de l’université est d’augmenter l’enrôlement de minorités raciales, pour assurer la diversité parmi les élèves, ce qui est en effet un « compelling interest » selon la jurisprudence de la Cour. Les précédentes décisions de la Cour soutiennent l’usage du critère de la race comme un facteur considéré comme un plus, parmi bien d’autres facteurs, l’important étant de considérer l’ensemble des qualités apportées par un candidat. Serait contraire à la Constitution un programme d’admission qui attribuerait automatiquement des points à un candidat issu d’une minorité raciale ou ethnique. Les décisions d’admission sont revues sous l’angle du 14è Amendement et doivent satisfaire le principe de « strict scrutiny », et non pas un principe de déférence à une décision d’admission prise sans autre motivation par l’établissement universitaire.

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