Supreme Court Action on College Racial Diversity

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Supreme Court Action on College Racial Diversity

Beginning in 1978, a landmark decision from the Supreme Court allowed American universities to consider race among other factors when deciding on student admissions. The decision was made by the Supreme Court alongside a governmental interest to diversify national student bodies. Since then, several cases such as the 2013 Fisher v. University of Texas case have challenged the legal standing of affirmative action. On Thursday, one of these challenges made a compelling enough case for the Supreme Court to rule affirmative action policies as unconstitutional. Both policies at Harvard and the University of North Carolina were under question, and the high court concluded that considering race in university admissions is a form of racial discrimination. Furthermore, Chief Justice John Roberts stated the court believes the policies in question “unavoidably employ race in a negative manner, involve racial stereotyping, and lack meaningful end points.”

Although the majority of the Supreme Court ruled against affirmative action, other justices, such as Sonia Sotomayor, believed the action “rolls back decades of precedent and momentous progress.” Regardless, the ruling was made, and universities have begun claiming that there is no other method in place to ensure minority applicants get a representative share in their student bodies. Despite the federal ruling, nine states across the US have previously banned race-conscious admissions, expanding to increases in recruiting in minority neighborhoods. Certainly, the historic ruling will cause mass debate across the country, and universities will adapt to guarantee their populations remain diverse yet fair.

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