Texas University’s Race Admissions Policy Is Debated Before a Federal Court - NYTimes.com: AUSTIN, Tex. — An affirmative-action program at the University of Texas at Austin that takes applicants’ race into account was unnecessary because the campus had achieved a “critical mass” of minority students, lawyers for the white applicant who sued the university told a federal appeals court here on Wednesday in a case with high stakes for the future of race-conscious admissions policies at public colleges and universities.
University lawyers denied a critical mass of underrepresented students had been reached. They said the institution was entitled to supplement its race-neutral admissions policies with ones that take race into account to achieve diversity. But the reaction of the appeals judges, who expressed skepticism at times about the manner in which the university applied race-conscious decisions and the university’s abstract definition of “critical mass,” illustrated the complex path for the Texas flagship university, as it tries to show that its admissions program was necessary.