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Supreme Court Abuses Power, Affirmative Action Gutted

Posted by Sara Cooper | Jun 30, 2023 | 0 Comments

Yesterday morning, the United States Supreme Court ruled for two cases: Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard and Students for Fair Admissions v. UNC which impact admission processes based on the consideration of race and ethnicity in education institutions.

The Justices in a 6-3 decision determined that Harvard and the University of North Carolina's admissions policy violated the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

Turning over of 50 years of legal precedent, the majority opinion states that, “The Court has permitted race-based college admissions only within the confines of narrow restrictions: such admissions programs must comply with strict scrutiny, may never use race as a stereotype or negative, and must – at some point, end. Respondents' admission systems fail each of these criteria and must therefore be invalidated under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.”

Military academies were exempted from this ruling on race-conscious admissions due to “potentially distinct interests” that may be apparent. Legacy admissions, donors, employee family members, and special recommendations were not mentioned in the majority opinion, leaving more consideration for them in admissions.

Outside of higher education systems, most businesses, primary and secondary schools, and leadership programs have a race-conscious program instilled into their employment policy, rippling layers of opportunity throughout the nation. Public support for affirmative action has grown over the years, with mentioning the necessity of endorsing programs to boost racial diversity on college campuses.

This comes at a great loss following the Supreme Court decision last June in making abortion access illegal on a federal basis. Alternatives for affirmative action should be upheld strongly by universities and other institutions such as expanding recruitment to underserved communities, developing robust middle school and high school pipelines, increasing need-based supports, and improving campus climate to be welcoming environments for all, mentioned by ACLU.

Commitment to diversity and expanding opportunities in education and elsewhere is important in promoting a multiracial democracy.

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