The University of Texas at Austin will pay a Los Angeles-based law firm with experience before the nation's highest court nearly $1 million to defend its admission standards, which consider race and ethnicity....On Tuesday, the court agreed to review affirmative action in higher education, starting with a look at a 2008 challenge from a white student denied undergraduate admission to UT's flagship campus. Abigail Fisher says the university's race-conscious admission policy violated her civil and constitutional rights. About two-thirds of UT freshmen are admitted based on high school class rank, as required by state law. But race and ethnicity are among many other factors the university weighs in deciding who else can enroll. A federal appeals court upheld the Texas program, saying it was allowed under the high court's decision in Grutter v. Bollinger in 2003, which permitted racial considerations in admissions at the University of Michigan Law School.
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