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By Miriam Raftery

June 27, 2016 (Washington D.C. ) — By a slim 4-3 margin, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that affirmative action is legal and that it is constitutional for public colleges and universities to consider race as a factor for admission. But the court also cautioned that educators must also show that other means of addressing diversity have failed.

Justice Elena Kagan recused herself due to prior involvement with the case and the seat held by the late Justice Antonin Scalia remains vacant.

The case was filed by a white applicant to the University of Texas, which used academic standards as criteria for 75 percent of admissions but included race as one of several factors in 25 percent of admissions.

The ruling won’t affect California, which already prohibits use of race in public college or university admissions.

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