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The next ridiculous lawsuit we’re all going to have to endure

Grit your teeth, here it comes.

A University of Texas at Austin professor has sued Texas A&M University claiming a new faculty fellowship program designed to increase diversity at the flagship university in College Station discriminates against white and Asian male candidates.

Richard Lowery, a finance professor at UT-Austin who is white, filed the federal class-action lawsuit on Saturday against the Texas A&M University System and its board of regents, Annie McGowan, Texas A&M’s vice president and associate provost for diversity, and N.K. Anand, Texas A&M’s vice president for faculty affairs.

Lowery is represented by America First Legal, a group created by Stephen Miller, a policy advisor for former President Donald Trump, and Jonathan Mitchell, a former solicitor general for Texas and the legal architect of Texas’ six-week abortion ban.

In the lawsuit, Lowery claims that a new fellowship program announced this summer within Texas A&M’s faculty hiring program called the Accountability, Climate, Equity and Scholarship Faculty Fellows program, or ACES, violates Title VI and Title IX, of the federal Civil Rights Act as well as the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause.

While the ACES program focuses on hiring recently graduated PhD students who want to enter academia, the new ACES Plus Program focuses on “mid-career and senior tenure-track hires from underrepresented minority groups, that contribute to moving the structural composition of our faculty towards parity with that of the State of Texas.” It sets aside $2 million over the next two fiscal years to help match a fellow’s base salary and benefits, up to a maximum of $100,000.

According to Texas A&M’s announcement of the new fellowship program on July 8, the university identified under-represented minority groups as African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, and Native Hawaiians.

“Texas A&M’s proclaimed goal of establishing a faculty whose racial composition attains “parity with that of the state of Texas” seeks to achieve racial balancing, which is flatly illegal under Title VI and the binding precedent of the Supreme Court,” the lawsuit argues.

And that was as far as I got in the article before my monitor spontaneously combusted in a heroic but ultimately futile effort to preserve my sanity. I would like for there to be some new main characters in the Texas news now.

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