Supreme Court Hears The Affirmative Action Case
(RepublicanNews.org) – The Supreme Court recently heard cases pertaining to affirmative action, which allows colleges and universities to consider the race of applicants before accepting or denying them. Supporters say it’s necessary to ensure campuses are diverse, but the Supreme Court seems to be leaning more toward discontinuing the practice.
After arguing for almost five hours, Harvard and the University of North Carolina (UNC) could be in a position to lose their affirmative action programs. The high court’s conservative majority appeared poised to put them to an end. Such a decision would alter decades of precedent, which had allowed higher education institutions to consider race in admissions, to come to an end. How far will a decision to end affirmative action go, and what does it mean for other renowned institutions?
Grutter v. Bollinger
In 2003, the Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision in Grutter v. Bollinger, which allowed colleges and universities to utilize holistic reviews, including the ability to consider the race of applicants, under the premise the institutions tightly tailored their affirmative actions. Sandra Day O’Connor, the justice responsible for drafting the 2003 opinion, asserted there would likely be no reason to continue using racial preferences 25 years after the time the Supreme Court made the decision.
Justice Amy Coney Barrett mentioned the 2003 ruling didn’t describe affirmative action as a good thing, adding the decision indicated the move was a danger and needed to end at some point. The Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA), under the leadership of Edward Blum, have long opposed affirmative action, urging the high court to overturn its 2003 decision.
In the SFFA’s case against Harvard, the focus was on the university’s holistic review process, which opponents claim has led to discriminatory practices against Asian Americans. The case also concentrated on race-neutral alternatives and whether they’re sufficient replacements to affirmative action. In the SFFA’s case against UNC, the university declared it wouldn’t have the ability to consider an applicant as a “whole person” without taking race into consideration.
Two of the high court’s liberal justices, Ketanji Brown Jackson and Sonia Sotomayor, sided with affirmative action. The latter asked what enrollment officers are supposed to tell applicants if they weren’t taking ethnicity into account or determining if a person had societal barriers in their life. Jackson asserted that no student would be automatically getting into colleges or universities simply based on race. The Supreme Court’s conservative justices seemed to have sided with the SFFA and heavily leaned on the 2003 ruling, indicating affirmative action is likely to come to an end.
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