UT discrimination lawsuit asks important questions

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - A federal appeals court is judging the constitutionality of admissions at the University of Texas at Austin, and their ruling could change college affirmative action programs nationwide.

On one side, officials at the flagship campus in Austin insist they've developed a system that subtly includes race as one of seven factors for considering students who don't graduated in the top 10 percent of their high school class. UT President Bill Powers insists that considering race is necessary to create a diverse learning environment.

Opposing the policy is Abigail Fisher, a white woman denied admission to UT. Her attorney told the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals that the university could achieve diversity without considering race.

The Supreme Court could use the case to decide affirmative is no longer necessary.

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