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Elena Kagan

Supreme Court upholds use of affirmative action at universities

Supreme Court upholds use of affirmative action at universities

The 30-year conservative campaign to strike down race-based affirmative action came to an apparent end Thursday when a University of Texas admissions policy was upheld by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, the last of the Reagan appointees to the Supreme Court and often the deciding vote on divisive issues.

Kennedy said a university and its leaders deserve “considerable deference” as they seek “student body diversity” that is “central to its identity and educational mission.”

By a 4-3 vote, the justices rejected a discrimination claim brought by a white student who had good but not excellent credentials when she was turned down for admission by the...

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