Rev. Jackson responds to Supreme Court ruling - FOX 35 News Orlando

Rev. Jackson responds to Supreme Court ruling on affirmative action

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Reverend Jesse Jackson is responding to Monday's ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court on the constitutionality of affirmative action.

The court essentially ducked making a hard decision about the controversial policy of giving minority students preference in college admissions and sending what had been seen as a potentially landmark case back to a lower court.

The case was brought by Abigail Fisher, a white student seeking admission to the University of Texas. She filed a lawsuit against after she was denied admission, claiming she wasn't admitted because of the school's policies favoring lesser-qualified minority students.

The university has used race as one of many factors to evaluate applicants since 2005.

"The most important lesson I've learned during the last five years is to stick by your ideals even if it means some personal sacrifice," Fisher said.

Writing for the seven to one majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy sent the Texas admissions policy back to a federal appeals court, saying the judges there did not subject the policy to the highest degree of judicial scrutiny.

"What this is basically saying is that Gruder, the 2003 decision by the Supreme Court, is still the law of the land and that decision, as many people remember, upheld affirmative action," Civil Rights Attorney Barbara Arnwine explains.

"Today's decision in Fisher versus University of Texas begins the restoration of the original coloring principles to our nation's civil rights laws," Edward Blum says.

In Chicago, civil rights leader Jesse Jackson called the court's ruling a mixed bag.

"We're disappointed in the court's ruling that the lower court did not use a strict enough standard in reviewing the Fisher case," Jackson said. "However, we're pleased the court did uphold the principles in the Gruder case, saying the university can use an affirmative action plan to choose diversity when it is necessary to do so."

Legal experts say it's very likely the Fisher case will wind up back before the Supreme Court after working its way through appeals. This fall the Supreme Court will hear the case of a Michigan law that bans using race or sex for hiring at public universities.

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