A federal appeals court in Louisiana reverses an earlier decision and rules that a race-based admissions policy at the University of Texas School of Law should not be allowed.
1996 (Mar 19)
A federal appeals court in Louisiana reversed an earlier decision and ruled that a race-based admissions policy at the University of Texas School of Law should not be allowed, even though the school's intention had been to enhance racial diversity. Four white students had sued the university in 1992 on the grounds of racial discrimination. Judge Jerry E. Smith ruled that the school had not appropriately shown a justification for its racial preference policy. He further recommended that universities in general broaden their definition of diversity among their student bodies—this, in part, because one of the plaintiffs, Cheryl Hopwood, had faced great adversity through her life as a result of the death of her father when she was a child, and the births to Hopwood of a handicapped child and another child who later died. Smith believed the experiences of someone like Hopwood should be included in a school's expanded definition of diversity.