Judge Upholds Texas Affirmative Action

Texas – A federal appeals court has ruled that the consideration of race and ethnicity in the admissions standards at the University of Texas at Austin is legal.

The three-judge 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel in New Orleans upheld on Tuesday a 2008 lower-court ruling that UT didn't infringe on the civil rights of two white, female students who were refused admission to that year's freshman class.

Abigail Fisher and Rachel Michalewicz had alleged that the university violated their constitutional right to equal protection.

Patricia Ohlendorf, UT legal affairs vice president, said she was pleased with the ruling. The women's attorney, Bert Rein of Washington, D.C., said he was disappointed in the outcome.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.