The national group Students for Fair Admissions filed a lawsuit this week against the University of Texas-Austin, saying that at least two white students within its 20,000-member organization were denied admission to the school due to race.
The suit says the consideration of race in the admissions process is unconstitutional.
It is not the first time the school has faced a lawsuit like this. UT's affirmative-action policy has come under fire several times since Abigail Fisher sued the school in 2008, arguing the use of race in admissions was unconstitutional and the reason UT denied her admission.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of UT in 2016, allowing them to continue using race and ethnicity as a factor in admissions decisions.
Despite the Supreme Court upholding the legality of using race as a factor in admissions, including as a protected factor under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, Students for Fair Admissions argued in its lawsuit this week that affirmative action is unconstitutional under that same clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
"The Supreme Court did not give the University of Texas a blank check to use race-based preferences in perpetuity, and the university has failed its obligation to reexamine its policies. This blatant failure to follow the Court's instructions is confirmation that [the previous decision] will need to be overruled in order to restore the Equal Protection Clause's command of racial neutrality."
The UT System, its Chancellor James B. Milliken and UT's interim president Jay Hartzell are among the many defendants named in the suit.
This is the group's second suit since the 2016 Supreme Court decision. It lost the first one in 2019 on the grounds that race was not a factor in the previous plaintiff's denial of admission. The group is also party to legal challenges against Harvard's affirmative-action system, which, like UT, were declared to be constitutional last year.
"The university is reviewing the new lawsuit from SFFA," UT spokesman JB Bird said. "We agreed with the judge's decision to dismiss SFFA's previous lawsuit, and we remain confident in the lawfulness and constitutionality of UT Austin's holistic admissions policy, which the U.S. Supreme Court upheld in 2016."
Five non-Texan members of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, including the chairman and vice chairman, will resign Wednesday after the state's power grid failure left millions without electricity for days during Winter Storm Uri.
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Like most of the residents in her East Austin neighborhood, Charlotte Colis lost power and cell service last week as a result of a historic winter storm. When she arrived at her dad's place on Tuesday evening, she had access to both for the first time in two days and used it to check Facebook, where she found a flood of activity.
Colis is a co-administrator of the private Buy Nothing East Riverside-Oltorf/Montopolis group, one of 60 hyperlocal groups active in the Austin area. She quickly began responding to dozens of requests from Facebook users who wanted to join and reading posts from existing members, who had offered hot showers, phone charging, rides and food to people in need. "It was absolutely one of the best, most heartwarming things I've ever seen," she told Austonia.
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Residents on the 2500 block of Santa Barbara Loop in Round Rock were evacuated from their homes on Tuesday morning after a man found with improvised explosive devices inside his house was arrested.
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