Shaping Educational Policy Through the Courts: The Use of Social Science Research in Amicus Briefs in Fisher I

Catherine L. Horn, Patricia Marin, Liliana M. Garces, Karen Miksch, John T. Yun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Different from more traditional policy-making avenues, the courts provide an antipolitical arena that does not require broad agreement from various constituents for policy enactment. Seeking to guide court decisions on these policy issues, individuals and organizations have filed amicus briefs that increasingly include social science to support their arguments. The Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin Supreme Court case presents an ideal example to study the use of social science evidence in amicus briefs to shape educational policy. Findings from this study identify differences in the use of social science research that suggest many ways in which our current understanding of the efforts of actors to shape educational policy via the highest court in the nation is incomplete. This study also highlights why developing this understanding could be extremely useful to both the creation of educational policy and the use of antipolitical approaches to change such policy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)449-476
Number of pages28
JournalEducational Policy
Volume34
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • evidence
  • higher education
  • legal issues

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