[JURIST] In a 7-4 decision issued on Thursday, a full panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] upheld the Seattle school district's use of race in its high school admissions policy. The policy allows high school students to choose their preferred school. If there is insufficient space at one of the schools, then the district will use race, as well as other factors, to make its final decision. A group of parents challenged the policy in 2000, arguing that the school district's use of race was unconstitutional. In Thursday's ruling [PDF] in Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District, No. 1, the Ninth Circuit rejected the parents' claims, finding the policy was sufficiently limited to meet the district's compelling interest in establishing and maintaining racial and ethnic diversity in the classroom. AP has more. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has local coverage.