In response to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s controversial comments during recent arguments in the Fisher v. University of Texas case, many are responding in support of the school’s initial decision.
University of Texas, Austin, denied Abigail Fisher admittance in 2008, and she filed a lawsuit four years later claiming she was passed over due to affirmative action. In the following years, her case went to the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as a lower appeals court when she lost, and now back to the Supreme Court.
At issue is a particular admissions policy at UT and whether or not it unfairly allows for race to be considered for a portion of its applicants, as Fisher argues. During a recent session of oral arguments, Scalia interjected that such policies in higher education are not helping African American students.
“There are those who contend that it does not benefit African Americans to get them into the University of Texas, where they do not do well, as opposed to having them go to a less-advanced school, a slower-track school where they do well,” he said, per Mother Jones. “One of the briefs pointed out that most of the Black scientists in this country don’t come from schools like the University of Texas. They come from lesser schools where they do not feel that they’re being pushed ahead in classes that are too fast for them.”
Since, the Twitter hashtag #StayMadAbby surfaced as a way for people (many African American students and graduates among them) to show their support for UT’s admission policy. But UT is gathering support from more than just the Internet.
Businesses included Apple, eBay, Starbucks, IBM, and many more filed Amicus Curiae brief in the case showing their support for UT as well, the school stated in a news release. Amicus Curiae means ‘friends of the court’ and are a way for interested parties not associated with a given case to formally show their viewpoint. UT noted 45 Fortune 100 companies, all eight Ivy League schools, some top public research institutions, education groups, federal and state politicians, and even collegiate athletics coaches filed Amicus Curiae brief in support of the school.