Fifteen years ago, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit flouted Supreme Court law when it struck down affirmative action at the University of Texas Law School. Last week, in an act of redemption, the appellate court upheld an admissions plan for undergraduates at the University of Texas at Austin that takes race into account to encourage diversity. The plan was adopted after the Supreme Court again approved affirmative action in higher education in 2003.
Like many other universities, the University of Texas values diversity’s many educational benefits. Students educated in a diverse university are better prepared for a diverse work force and for helping bring about what the Supreme Court called the dream of “one nation, indivisible.”