The Supreme Court has just ruled that college admissions programs using affirmative action and other race-based criteria or admissions are acting unconstitutionally and are in violation of the 14th Amendment.
On Thursday, the Supreme Court struck down affirmative action programs at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina. The programs at both schools were determined to violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution, marking a major victory for conservatives.
In the majority opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that both Harvard and UNC’s programs “lack sufficiently focused and measurable objectives warranting the use of race, unavoidably employ race in a negative manner, involve racial stereotyping, and lack meaningful endpoints.”
“We have time and again forcefully rejected the notion that government actors may intentionally allocate preference to those ‘who may have little in common with one another but the color of their skin,'” Roberts wrote. “The entire point of the Equal Protection Clause is that treating someone differently because of their skin color is not like treating them differently because they are from a city or from a suburb, or because they play the violin poorly or well.”
Justice Clarence Thomas separately commented on the ruling, saying that it “sees the universities’ admissions policies for what they are: rudderless, race-based preferences designed to ensure a particular racial mix in their entering classes.”
It is predicted that this ruling will lead to a drop in minority enrollment at these two accredited universities.
However, this ruling does not entirely eliminate the factor of race in the college admissions process. The court states that “nothing prohibits universities from considering an applicant’s discussion of how race affected the applicant’s life, so long as that discussion is concretely tied to a quality of character or unique ability that the particular applicant can contribute to the university.”
In a press release, Senate Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) praised the ruling, saying it was “long overdue.”
“Today’s rulings make clear that colleges may not continue discriminating against bright and ambitious students based on the color of their skin,” wrote McConnell. “Most Americans agree that racial discrimination should play no part in the college admissions process. Now that the Court has reaffirmed that commonsense position, students can get a fair shot at college and the American dream on their merits.”