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Hopwood v. Texas

Millions In Damages

With the help of the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Individual Rights, a libertarian-focused, public-interest law firm, their suit was filed on 29 September 1992 against the state of Texas, the Board of Regents of the Texas State University System, the University of Texas Law School, and several individual university officials. Hopwood requested injunctive relief--admittance to the University of Texas Law School--plus $1.3 million in damages, which reflected the projected career earnings had she, in fact, graduated from law school, passed the bar exam, and practiced law. Her petition also asked for an additional $1.5 million for emotional distress. The other plaintiffs also requested compensation from the University of Texas.

The Hopwood case first went to trial in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Austin Division, in May of 1994. That court found for the University of Texas, and denied injunctive relief and damages, though it did note that the admissions policy was in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment giving all U.S. citizens equal protection under the law. The decision was appealed and landed on the docket of the next highest court, the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

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Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1995 to PresentHopwood v. Texas - Significance, Denied Admission, Millions In Damages, The Terms Of The Complaint, The Former Policy