In a nationally watched case before the U.S. Supreme Court, a consortium representing physicians, nurses and medical colleges has filed a friend-of-the-court brief supporting a Texas university that takes applicants' race into account in the admissions process.
The 35-page brief from the medical interest groups (PDF) asks the Supreme Court to reject arguments from applicant Abigail Fisher, who said her constitutional right to equal protection under the law was violated when she was not allowed into University of Texas at Austin under an admissions policy that took race into account. Fisher is white.
Fisher's brief to the court says her academic credentials "exceeded" those of other black and Hispanic undergraduate candidates, and her rejection violated her 14th Amendment right to equal protection. Both the district and appeals courts disagreed and sustained the college's policy (PDF).
The interest groups—including the Association of American Medical Colleges, the American Medical Association and the American Nurses Association—say college admissions policies that include students' race as one factor in determining who may become an undergraduate helps medical schools meet larger social goals of fostering diversity on campus and in the healthcare field as a whole.