Supreme Court Punts on Affirmative Action, Sends Back to Lower CourtS

Affirmative action lives! For now. In a narrow 7-1 decision, the Supreme Court refused a sweeping ruling on racial preference in college admissions, instead vacating and remanding the fifth circuit court's decision in Fisher v. Texas—sending the case back to the lower court with specific instructions.

The ruling, authored by Justice Kennedy, found that the University of Texas did not adequately demonstrate that its affirmative action program was "narrowly tailored" to satisfy its aim of a diverse student body—but indicated that the school could establish a need for a "strict[ly] scrutin[ized]" affirmative action policy.

So, it's a little bit of a compromise, and a little bit of a punt, and likely won't change college admissions processes for a little while at least. Justice Ginsburg was the sole dissenter. Kagan recused herself, and Scalia and Thomas wrote separate concurrences.

[image via AP]