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Celebrating 75 Years of LDF
Monday, October 8, 2012
Heman Marion Sweatt and Abigail Noel Fisher both wanted to attend the University of Texas at Austin.
Both claimed their race was a primary reason for their rejection. Both filed civil rights lawsuits, and the Supreme Court ultimately agreed to hear their separate appeals -- filed more than half a century apart.
Their cases share much in common -- vexing questions of competition, fairness, and demographics -- and what role government should play when promoting political and social diversity.
But it is the key difference between these plaintiffs -- separated by three generations and a troubled road to "equality" -- that now confronts the nation's highest court: Sweatt was black, Fisher is white.