Texas affirmative action plan in trouble at court

The fate of the University of Texas’ affirmative action program rests with the Supreme Court, where skeptical conservative justices indicated they are ready to impose new limits on the use of race in college admissions, the Associated Press reports. Liberal justices more supportive of affirmative action worried variously at Wednesday’s argument that the court would either eviscerate its 9-year-old ruling upholding the use of race or enmesh federal judges around the country in evaluating college admissions programs. Depending on how broadly the court rules, the decision could affect not only public colleges but most private ones as well. That’s because federal civil rights law prevents discrimination by institutions that receive federal money.

“A decision condemning Texas’ admissions procedures might well be taken, depending on how it was written, to confound and restrict (our) effort to assemble diverse student bodies,” 37 small private colleges in 12 states told the court in a written submission. More than five dozen private schools, including the eight Ivy League colleges, chimed in to support the Texas plan…

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