High Court Action Possible in Affirmative Action Case
Already facing criticism for its role in the Florida presidential recount, the U.S. Supreme Court soon may venture into another hot-button issue: affirmative action in college admissions.An appeal to the high court is the possible next step in a Washington state case that pits affirmative action advocates against conservatives fighting a University of Washington admissions policy (see story, pg. 22). In a December ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals said the university could use diversity as a reason to pursue an affirmative action policy in college admissions. Supporters say the ruling follows the standard established by the Bakke court decision in 1978.In the Washington case, three White students rejected from the University of Washington law school said the school violated their equal protection rights by using a higher admission standard for White students than they did for students of color.The decision to go to the high court will rest with the Center for Individual Rights, a Washington, D.C., group that supports the White students. The center is considering an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. However, it also may propose returning the case to a trial court, where the students could seek monetary damages for their claim.
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