Seating at the U.S. Supreme Court is in high demand for the Oct. 10 hearing in Abigail Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, et al. At issue is the university’s use of race in its admissions procedures.
“Those seats are as hard to get as a Yankees opener in the World Series,” says Edward Blum (who laughed when asked if he meant to say a Texas Rangers game). Blum is the director of The Project on Fair Representation, the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that funded Abigail Fisher’s case against the UT defendants. Fisher, a white woman, alleges she was disadvantaged because of her race and that her constitutional rights were violated when she was denied admission into UT in 2008.
On Blum’s short list of people he expects to see in the courtroom are Fisher, her parents and himself. "I don’t know if anyone else could get in,” he says.
Seating also is limited on the UT side of the case. Who makes the cut to get in? According to Gary Susswein, director of media relations for UT, these people all will have seats: UT President William Powers, UT General Counsel Patti Ohlendorf, UT Director of Admissions Kedra Ishop, UT Vice President for Diversity Greg Vincent, UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa and UT System General Counsel Barry Burgdorf. Susswein suspects some UT regents may also make it inside, but he expects students, alums and himself to be outside the courthouse.
-- Miriam Rozen