Mishell Kneeland, an Austin-based partner at Culhane Meadows and former Assistant Attorney General for the State of Texas, was interviewed for a report in the Austin-American Statesman about the latest lawsuit concerning the role of race in the University of Texas admissions policies.
The article, titled “UT faces new lawsuit over role of race in admissions policy,” is about the newly-filed suit by University of Texas alumnus Edward Blum. According to his latest lawsuit, the use of racial and ethnic preferences in admissions at UT violates state law and the Texas Constitution. On two previous attempts to challenge the legality of UT’s admissions policies, Blum’s suits were based on federal law and made it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where he lost both times.
While at the Texas AG’s office, Kneeland worked on behalf of UT in one of the prior suits known as Fisher v. UT-Austin, in which Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote “that race consciousness played a role in only a small portion of admissions decisions,” asserting that this was “a hallmark of narrow tailoring, not evidence of unconstitutionality.” This time, rather than relying on federal law to attack UT’s policies, Blum appears to be focusing his efforts on state law and is avoiding the federal courts altogether.
Here is an excerpt of the news report featuring Kneeland:
Mishell Kneeland, a lawyer in Austin with the Culhane Meadows law firm who worked on the Fisher case as an assistant attorney general in Texas, said the new case appears to be designed to wind up at the state Supreme Court. She doubts that the plaintiff will succeed, in part because the state’s constitutional standards are “relatively similar” to the federal version. “The University of Texas’ admissions process is very thoughtfully crafted,” she added.
The entire article may be viewed HERE.