The Fisher vs University of Texas case returned to a divided US Supreme Court on Wednesday. The case brought the discussion about race and affirmative action into the limelight again.
SC Judge Antonin Scalia said black students would benefit from the end of affirmative action as they are "pushed ahead too fast" and would perform better at "lesser schools".
Abigal Fisher, a white female, was denied admission to University of Texas on the basis of her race as the university wanted to maintain diversity in its student body.
Fisher argued that the state's Top 10% programme already ensures diversity would be maintained. This is the second round of hearing for the case.
If the case is ruled in favour of Abigail, a reduction in the number of students from minority communities is expected, which Scalia suggested would not be a negative development.
"There are those who contend that it does not benefit African Americans to get them into the University of Texas where they do not do well, as opposed to having them go to a less-advanced school, a slower-track school, where they do well," The Guardian quoted Scalia as saying.
"One of the [legal] briefs pointed out that most of the black scientists in this country don't come from schools like the University of Texas. They come from lesser schools where they do not feel that they're being pushed ahead in classes that are too fast for them."
Chief Justice John G Roberts Jr questioned the continued application of the policy by University of Texas as well.
Liberal Justice Stephen G Breyer said the opponents were trying to "kill affirmative action through a death by a thousand cuts".
The University's attorney Gregory G Garre was quoted by Chicago Tribune as saying: "Frankly, I don't think the solution to the problems with student body diversity can be to set up a system in which not only are minorities going to separate schools, they're going to inferior schools."
However, it has been proven that banning affirmative action in states have lead to a plummet in the number of students from minority backgrounds in various fields like medicine, engineering, natural sciences, social sciences and humanities.
Universities, however, even when following the policy, admit only a token number of students as representative of the community, leaving them socially isolated while on campus.
The debate, say Liliana M Garcias, Assistant Professor of Education, Pennsylvania State University, and Gary Orfield, Professor of Education, Law, Political Science and Urban Planning, University of California, Los Angeles in The Conversation, is about what constitutes the "critical mass" or the perfect number of students on campus so the student body could be called diverse.
The judges pushed for a way to have a diverse student body without taking admission decisions that were race conscious.