Federal Court To Decide If UT Can Use Race In Admissions Decisions

Texas – Two white students who were denied admission to the University of Texas at Austin are asking a federal appeals court to rule that the school impermissibly uses race in its undergraduate admissions decisions.

A three-judge panel from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals didn't immediately rule Tuesday after hearing arguments.

A federal judge in Austin last year dismissed the suit filed by Abigail Fisher and Rachel Michalewicz, who were denied admission to UT's 2008 freshman class.

The students claim UT's consideration of race in its admissions process is unconstitutional because it pursues a representational goal rather an educational one.

But a lawyer for the state says the policies adhere to a 2003 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court upholding affirmative action at the University of Michigan law school.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.