November 2, 2011

UT asked to file a response in Fisher

By Joshua P. Thompson Senior Attorney

Yesterday, the US Supreme Court ordered the University of Texas to file a response to Abigail Fisher’s petition for certiorari.  And, in other news, the sun rose in the east this morning.

Yes, this was widely expected, but the speed with which the Supreme Court acted, strongly suggests that this case has piqued the interest of at least one Supreme Court justice. Ms. Fisher’s certorari petition, and the numerous amicus briefs that came in on her behalf, were distributed to the justices on October 31. That same day, the Court ordered the University of Texas to file a response.

The university’s decision to not file a responsive brief was probably a ploy to buy it more time to gather its own amici, and craft its arguments for denying certiorari.  The Court will not accept a certiorari petition unless a response has been filed, and the University gained a month’s time to write its response (unless it requests an additional extension).

As loyal followers of the Liberty Blog are aware, PLF has been heavily involved in this case since it reached the Fifth Circuit. This news, while expected, has us excited.  The new timeline means that Fisher, if granted ceriorari, will be heard be the Supreme Court this year.  And Grutter‘s sanctioning of race in university of admissions will hopefully have a much shorter reign than the 25-years envisioned by Justice O’Connor.

You can read PLF’s amicus brief in support of certiorari, which was joined by the Center for Equal Opportunity, the American Civil Rights Institute, the National Association of Scholars, and Project 21 here.

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