affirmative action, Texas higher education

Linda Purrington (
Thu, 07 Jan 1999 07:45:26 PST

New Texas AG Takes Back 'Hopwood' By Janet Elliott Texas Lawyer
Monday, January 4, 1999
Texas Attorney General John Cornyn plans to take back control of the
University of Texas' latest appeal in the controversial Hopwood v. Texas
affirmative action case.
"I anticipate taking the Hopwood case back," Cornyn said in an interview
Dec. 29. Cornyn, who was sworn in Jan. 1 as the first Republican AG in
modern times, said Dan Morales "abdicated his responsibility" when he decided
last April that his office would no longer represent the state. Morales, an
outspoken opponent of affirmative action, said at the time he had "identified
no sufficient grounds upon which to base an appeal seeking
to reimpose race-based decision-making at Texas institutions of higher
education."However, Morales allowed the university to pursue its appeal
using lawyers from Vinson & Elkins, which has represented the law school pro
bono since the case was filed in 1994 by Cheryl Hopwood and three other
white students who were denied admission to the law school.

A panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had declared
affirmative action in higher education dead in a 1995 opinion. The U.S.
Supreme Court refused to hear the state's appeal. But on remand, U.S.
District Judge Sam Sparks of Austin opened up a new appeal avenue by
enjoining the state from considering the race of student applicants.
Cornyn said during his campaign that he would not let his personal views
on issues affect his handling of cases. He said if there are valid legal
arguments that can be made in a case and the AG's client wants to make
them, it is the AG's duty to present those arguments....

Excerpted by Linda Purrington, Title IX Advocates

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