PsTL faculty member Karen Miksch on team that files brief with US Supreme Court: Fisher v. University of Texas
Scholars from 172 universities and research centers in 42 states joined together in a brief summarizing key research on affirmative action for the U.S. Supreme Court. The creation of this Brief of American Social Scientists was a truly collaborative effort among scholars from around the county, who are experts in the field of affirmative action and college access. The project began when Gary Orfield, director of the Civil Rights Project at UCLA, contacted expert researchers and asked if they would be willing to collaborate in preparing the brief. Karen Miksch, one of the experts contacted, joined the team of 20 researchers convened by the Civil Rights Project to research, draft, and review the brief which was signed by 444 social scientists.
In Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, the Supreme Court must decide two central constitutional questions in reaching its ruling, both of which can be addressed by research. This brief focuses on evidence from across the country relating to the University's consideration of race, as one of many factors in evaluating applicants, and as an essential tool to producing a diverse and integrated educational community. It shows that the University and other institutions would lose educationally critical diversity without such policies given the inequality of opportunity in America's unequal schools and communities.