AERA et al. File Amicus Brief as Supreme Court Prepares to Reconsider <em>Fisher</em>
AERA et al. File Amicus Brief as Supreme Court Prepares to Reconsider Fisher
 
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November 2015

AERA, joined by nine other scientific societies, filed an amicus curiae brief in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin urging the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the overwhelming scientific evidence relevant to the case. The brief includes analyses of the studies applicable to the court’s deliberations.

In a November 5 news release, AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine said, “AERA has a fundamental interest in the accurate presentation of social science research on these important questions of law. We have a responsibility to present the best scientific evidence to the court. The association is committed to public policies based on rigorous scientific evidence.”

This is the second time AERA has filed an amicus brief in the Fisher case. In 2012, when the Supreme Court first agreed to hear the case, AERA and seven other organizations filed a similar brief in support of the University of Texas at Austin.

Fisher was initiated in 2008 as a challenge to the university’s affirmative action admissions policy. In 2013, the first time the Supreme Court heard the case, it was sent back to the lower courts when the Court determined that the Fifth Circuit had failed to apply the correct legal standard in considering the case. The Supreme Court is now set to hear oral arguments a second time on December 9.

“In determining the constitutionality of the UT-Austin admissions policy, the Court’s decision should be informed by reliable and robust research findings, as it has in previous landmark decisions,” said Levine. “In filing this brief, we have again taken our responsibility as scientific societies quite seriously. A wide team of scholars has scrutinized all of the studies that have been undertaken since 2012, and we have concluded that the court needs to have accessible the cumulative knowledge now at hand.”

AERA was joined by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Anthropological Association, the American Political Science Association, the American Sociological Association, the American Statistical Association, the Association for the Study of Higher Education, the Law and Society Association, the Linguistic Society of America, and the National Academy of Engineering.

AERA has also prepared a web portal dedicated to providing up-to-date information on the progress of Fisher. The portal includes recent news stories, background information, and additional resources on the case. It will be further updated leading up to the Dec. 9 oral arguments, and afterward, as warranted.

The Supreme Court is expected to release a decision by the summer of 2016.

 
 
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