Supreme Court eliminates affirmative action for college admissions

The Supreme Court made a significant ruling on Thursday, declaring affirmative action in college admissions to be unconstitutional. The practice of considering race as a factor in the admissions process has been a longstanding method for universities to promote diversity and address historical discrimination. However, the 6-3 decision by the Court effectively puts an end to this practice.

The cases brought before the Court were initiated by the group Students for Fair Admissions, led by conservative legal strategist Robert Blum. The lawsuits targeted Harvard University and the University of North Carolina, accusing them of discriminating against white and Asian-American students. Lower courts had previously rejected these challenges.

Chief Justice John Roberts, writing the majority opinion, argued that universities had wrongly focused on an individual's identity based on their race instead of considering other factors, such as challenges overcome and skills acquired. The Court found fault with the methodologies employed by the schools to achieve racial diversity, deeming them too vague and ultimately unworkable.

The three liberal justices on the Court dissented, with Justice Sonia Sotomayor accusing the majority of disregarding the reality that race still matters in society. She argued that schools should be able to take race into account in order to address racial inequality.

Harvard University and the University of North Carolina expressed their disappointment with the decision but affirmed their commitment to diversity. They stated that they would carefully review the Court's ruling and take steps to comply with the law.

It is worth noting that states that have already banned affirmative action in college admissions, such as California, Michigan, and Washington, have seen a decline in minority enrollment in their public universities. This trend raises concerns about the potential impact the Supreme Court's decision may have on diversity in higher education.

Opinions on affirmative action remain divided among the American public. A recent poll showed that 63% of adults believe colleges should be allowed to consider race as part of the admissions process, although few believe it should play a major role. Additionally, a Pew Research Center survey found that half of Americans disapprove of race-based considerations in admissions.

The justices themselves have personal connections to the universities involved in the cases, with most of them having attended or taught at Harvard. Notably, all of the justices' alma maters, except for Justice Amy Coney Barrett's Rhodes College, supported the preservation of race-conscious admissions.

The Supreme Court's decision marks a significant shift in the approach to affirmative action in college admissions, but its full impact on diversity in higher education remains to be seen.


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