Supreme Court issues compromise ruling on affirmative action

The University of Texas at Austin // Universyt of Texas Photo

The Supreme Court has sent a Texas case on race-based college admissions back to a lower court.

The high court's 7-1 decision Monday leaves unsettled many of the basic questions about the continued use of race as a factor in college admissions.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the court, said a federal appeals court needs to subject the University of Texas admission plan to the highest level of judicial scrutiny.

The compromise ruling throws out the decision by the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld the UT Texas admission plan.

A white student -- Abigail Fisher -- sued UT after she was denied a spot in 2008. She has since received her undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University.