Sample Law Essay Paper on Fisher Vs UT, Austin

Fisher Vs UT, Austin


The University of Texas chose to change its admission policy to include race with the intent of achieving a fair representation in its institution. The reason why the university adopted the decision is its intention to increase minority. The university was also within the law as had been held in court in the decision of Grutter vs. Bollinger. Several court decisions favor affirmative action in increasing minority races in their undergraduate admissions and Texas deemed it fit to craft a policy where admission would be done with the intent of increasing the minorities.

This matter was arose after Abigail fisher Abigail filed a suit contesting her denial of admission after Texas university relied on affirmative action to deny her admission despite meeting the requirements for admission . Abigail was a white student and the matter arose when she was denied admission at the University of Texas. She filed the suit because she was discriminated upon because of her race. It was her argument that such a consideration as a factor for admission was discrimination and unfair because it was not based on merit and did not reflect previous admissions. Abigail’s suit also raised issues of discrimination based on her denial of enjoyment of the provisions of the 14nth amendment in equal protection. She considered herself more qualified than majority who were given admission to the institution and felt that admissions were based on affirmative action which was totally unfair to her (Vile 8)

The decisions to make admissions based on race were done as an affirmative action to increase admissions of certain races that appeared less represented in the institutions. There have been previous court decisions where courts have concurred with institutions in the use of race for admissions. In Grutter vs. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306, the case involved Michigan law school and the court allowed such use in limited circumstances (Crane 12).

The University of Texas came up with a policy where race would be used as a factor to fill some slots so as to make sure that all races are represented. There were concerns that there are people of a particular race getting majority slots in the university admissions. Initially the university was keen on the performance, discipline of the student and other unique outstanding features for admission. However, after the decision in Grutter the university had a change in policy where admissions were to be effected with a consideration of race. The system of higher education was modified in Texas following the decision of education system in concurrence with the decision of the court. The schools however were to decide on their own discretion on whether to apply this policy or not.

The petitioners also raised the issue of existing university plan that should have been adequate to quarantine diversity without resorting to the new adopted system. The argument by the university that it wanted to change how the law school was perceived or reduce on hostile instances previously experienced in the school did not convince the petitioners.

Affirmative Action

The affirmative action came into play after the realization that certain races have been favored in university admission to the disadvantage of the minority and therefore need to restore fairness in the academic sector through affirmative action. This case was basically about affirmative action and is use as a solution rather that for discrimination purposes. The proponents of this policy both at the court and the government was to give equal opportunities to students of all races an opportunity to learn and work at their place of choice. The American society was well known for slavery and discrimination of the minority races and blacks suffered the brunt of this and should not be allowed to continue to the present civilization by according blacks equal opportunities to compete with other races (Goff, 2013).

Affirmative action should be seen as a positive step to avail opportunity to all so as to reverse the effects of discrimination that were perpetuated by the old generation. Whereas the affirmative action was meant to remedy the effects of discrimination, it was not crafted for the blacks only. Affirmative action was meant for all races that were discriminated upon. The misinterpretation was that it was only meant for the black, which was not the case. In other quarters, it was seen as an affront to the white majority. The Hispanics were also not properly represented in institutions because of their small number. The policy of the institution on affirmative action was meant to provide such admissions to the minority.

Justice Thomas Concurring Opinion

Justice Thomas has had significant impact on jurisprudence and case law following his observations in this case. His opinions are strict to law and he does not shy from expressing himself satisfactorily on issues of affirmative action

 Justice Clarence made interesting observations in this regard. His decisions were well crafted and thought out. His concurrence embodies both principles of law and case laws to elaborate on how he arrives at his decision. His observations are constructed in a strict way and are limited to judicial interpretation. Justice Clarence Thomas has been held in high regard by his fellow judges because of his strict application of law. Justice Hugo takes keen observation of his constructionist approach on his judgments and that therefore means his approach is strictly judicial (Oakes 51).

In the decision he arrives at in this case, Justice Clarence follows the strict judicial interpretation and sticks to what he believes the law provides. He is a strictly conservative judge.

In this case the judge’s decision is on the provisions of the 14th amendment and its original intent as was written. In his concurrence, as the amendment provides that a state shall not deny to any person the equal protection of the law. The judge also uses case law to emphasize this provision as was the case in Missouri vs. Jenkins. In this decision the court emphasized that it was upon the government to deal with people as citizens and not as a particular group or race to guarantee their rights.

 The laws should be seen to provide equal protection. Justice Thomas does not want to view the exceptions of the law as has been decided in previous legal cases. One particular case where exceptions were clearly observed was in that of Korematsu vs. United States 323 U.S. 214. This case involved a situation where the government is the offender. For the government to have its way, it had to show that it had some compelling reason or interest to make it an exception and not a violation.

The government as observed by Justice Clarence had to guarantee the fourteenth amendment. For a state to rely on an exception it has to prove their interest. Justice Clarence Thomas further prods whether there was any government interest in the affirmative action as a step to ensuring diversity in colleges as was in   Johnson vs. California. The government interest has to be so compelling to be relied upon and not to be seen as infringing on the rights of others or violating the fourteenth amendment of the constitution. Justice Thomas had a very divergent view on whether diversity as put forward met the legal threshold of being seen as a state interest.     

Affirmative action hasps been favored by United States courts in several instances with the objective of achieving fairness, balance and equal opportunity for all. Institutions of learning have been major beneficiaries of this action.

The courts have however accepted these actions if they are geared at limiting discrimination based on race. Several instances have showed that affirmative action in institutions is not beneficial to the expected recipients. The society we live in currently has been able to provide similar platform for all and therefore there has to be fair competition based on merit as has been the case before. The application of affirmative action in the current modern times defeats the purpose of why such action should be in place. Unfair admissions may injure the students by profiling them before their mates instead. This will lead to poor performance in class as has been shown to exist in several institutions applying affirmative action to provide opportunities for particular races.

In Thomas’ concurrence he goes further to qualify that state interest can only be based on a threat to national security or is intended to heal a past trend of discrimination. It is Justice Thomas view that the reasons advanced forward based on the benefits that would arise out of diversity for an affirmative action taken does not qualify as a state interest as provided by the law. It is further a misnomer that for the continuity and survival of the school and to reduce violence, the school chose to balance races. This reason was not compelling enough to warrant such drastic action taken by the university of Texas management. The reasons advanced on the benefits of desegregating race were not compelling. It is possible to have fair competition b7t the reasons for denial of fisher an opportunity to join the university were discriminatory and against the law.

Justice Thomas notes that Texas has good intentions in helping minorities get equal opportunities with other races however he observes that it is the worst form of discrimination, just as bad as slavery was. Justice Thomas observes the benefits slavery had but ended up being the worst form of discrimination. During the time of slavery, according to Justice Thomas, proponents of slavery thought that it would be more beneficial to the black people. With a similar approach the government thought it would benefit the blacks’ access institutions. All citizens in America have been availed equal opportunities and platforms and the reason they do not take up the opportunities does not make them inferior or less citizens that their counterparts of other races. The judge also observes that nobody is branded inferior to the other.

Most scholars may not fully agree with Justice Thomas opinion. Affirmative action has been used in the United States positively for several years now and has been continually applied by the courts to achieve fairness in the academic institutions. The courts have made these deci9sions where there are compelling justifications. Decisions of the University of Texas are intended at availing equal opportunities with the intention of promoting research, eliminate racial discrimination and diversity. Thomas states that the approach taken by the university is discriminatory in nature and will not help achieve that with it ought to achieve.

Justice Thomas opinion rebutted the decision arrive at in Grutter vs. Bollinger. Thomas frowned upon segregation of any kind and anything that looked or was crafted like slavery was slavery. People should be allowed to go to where they are wanted and feel comfortable. He observes that actions taken to balance race is unconstitutional and segregationist to the extreme. The University of Texas presents integration as an unintended consequence of achieving diversity in schools. The view by the university that their action of affirmative action will help them achieve diversity ended up segregating. The argument by the university as observed by Justice Thomas will in fact focus on one entire race because the focus is on the skin color by relying on the color as a factor constituting discrimination. The use of color in offering admission is frowned upon by the judge.

The judge attacks the views of the university to affirmative action for offering opportunities to the institution. The judge observes that the worst forms of discrimination have been perpetuated through such contexts as helping the minorities. He notes the deep rooted effects of such action and how the society was affected to this moment. He observes that it is the same argument that led to the establishment of black institutions in the pretext theta it was going to be helpful to the minorities but instead divided the society even further. Whereas several notable leaders like martin Luther king Jr, Booker T among other leaders were products of such action, this only helped widen divisions and discrimination among races.

 According to Justice Thomas, the arguments before the court were rejected several years ago and should not be entertained at the moment. Race does not help in any way in how education becomes beneficial to its people and blacks in particular. It surprises him that the University of Texas is trying to go back in time to achieve what the past could not achieve. Education should be available to all away from race being a deciding factor. Justice Thomas also goes ahead to show how affirmative action will not help improve a person’s academic ability. It would not really matter if the student was in smaller or bigger schools.

Justice Thomas opines that we should not be trapped in racial outfits in every sector of life in the pretext of achieving diversity. Thomas observes that the rules of desegregation prohibit public schools from engaging in any kind of discrimination that is based on race even if it was so necessary that failure to observe it poses imminent danger to the school. Justice Thomas goes ahead to refer to a case law in Davies vs.  School of Prince Edward Cty. Such segregation policies end up having further negative consequences instead of offering a remedy to an existing problem. According to Justice Thomas, segregation violates individual rights as enshrined in the 14th amendment of the constitution. Justice Thomas observes that the school has not proved beyond reasonable doubt. According to the judge, the university must demonstrate that it will be forced to close down if its prayers are not granted by the honorable court. The university will still have to prove further if at all there is a threat of closure to the institution if affirmative action is not granted.

Justice Thomas also observes that the constitution does not make specific observations on race and public interest. This therefore means that the state has no provision in the constitution to use race to decide on matters education. The law provides equal opportunities for all. Justice Thomas rejects the theory advanced by the university to claim there is discrimination and is convinced the university is not sincere when it outlines the benefits that come with such diversity in the institution. The judge believes that the minorities will be hurt more if the university has its way (Vrdoljak 49).

The admission to the universities is intended to help the minorities but that action according to Justice Thomas has serious ramifications. Statistics show that those admitted under such affirmative actions is not comfortable in their classes with the majority. It has been practically observed that where race plays a significant role in offering admission, the students end up performing very poorly. The judge is saddened by the fact that the universities do ignore such important factor when applying affirmative action. The universities in deciding on affirmative action should consider other important factors and especially the long-term effects on the students. In applying affirmative action for admission it does not guarantee a fair association with the rest of the students because of an admission process that segregates the students from the rest.

It is also observed that even with the existence of such measures enrolment of the minority races have not in any way increased in the institutions. The policy makes a mockery of admissions and ends up destroying careers of young men and women in the pretext of seeking fair representation of race. Students should be allowed to enroll in institutions they wish to enroll to. This action will go a long way in ensuring that they are in an environment they feel is contusive for learning without having the stigma of race following them wherever they go.

In seeking to enforce the affirmative action, the schools end up brandishing the minority races with an unwanted tag which will only serve to make them inferior. The application of the top ten percent by the university was a fair representation and needs to be applied by the university. The application of race in admission creates stigma upon the beneficiaries who end up suffering for the favor. The university policy is more harmful to the same students and minorities the institution intends to protect.

Justice Clarence Thomas, after providing his opinion overrules the decision reached in Grutter but goes on to abide by the courts opinion based on the fact that strict scrutiny was not applied by the court of appeal. If I were Justice Clarence I would equally overrule the decision arrive art in Grutter because the provision of the constitution on equal protection of rights has been violated. The argument by the university is not convincing enough to warrant application of an affirmative action (Scheb 471).

Works Cited

Crane, Michael. The Political Junkie Handbook: [the Definitive Reference Book on Politics]. New York, NY: S.P.I. Books, 2004. Print.

Oakes, Anne R. Controversies in Equal Protection Cases in America: Race, Gender and Sexual Orientation. , 2015. Print.

Scheb, John. American Constitutional Law, Volume Ii. Place of publication not identified: Cengage Learning, Inc, 2014. Print.

Vile, John R. Encyclopedia of Constitutional Amendments, Proposed Amendments, and Amending Issues, 1789-2015. , 2015. Print.

Vrdoljak, Ana F. The Cultural Dimension of Human Rights. , 2013. Print.