Supreme Court raises bar for affirmative action in college admissions

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Supreme Court on Monday allowed affirmative action to survive in college admissions but imposed a tough legal standard, ruling that schools must prove there are “no workable race-neutral alternatives” to achieve diversity on campus.

While the ruling was not a sweeping pronouncement on the future of affirmative action, it amounts to a warning to colleges nationwide that the courts will treat race-conscious admissions policies with a high degree of skepticism.

By a 7-1 vote, with one justice recusing herself, the court sent a case about the University of Texas admissions policy back to a federal appeals court for review, and directed the appeals court to apply an exacting legal standard known as strict scrutiny.

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