Supreme Court outlaws RACE as a factor in college admissions in major affirmative action ruling: Justices vote 6-3 to rule Harvard and UNC programs unconstitutional
- A student non-profit had sued Harvard and the University of North Carolina over the issue
- Affirmative action was designed to boost student numbers from other ethnic groups
- Nine states nationwide have already banned the practice
The Supreme Court has outlawed the consideration of race as a factor in college admissions.
The justices on Thursday decided in a 6-3 opinion that Harvard University and the University of North Carolina’s race-based affirmative action admissions are unconstitutional.
‘Both 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 end points,’ states the majority opinion written by Chief Justice Roberts.
The ruling ends a decades-old policy known ‘affirmative action’ that was designed to boost the number of black and Hispanic students in colleges.
The idea was to ensure minority groups are fairly represented among university student bodies.
The Supreme Court heard the case brought by a non-profit that argued race-based policies at Harvard University and University of North Carolina
Lawyers brought two cases in the name of a non-profit, Students for Fair Admissions, who argued that they were disadvantaged by affirmative action.
They sued the University of North Carolina and Harvard University alleging that race-based admissions are illegal.
In the Harvard case, professors were accused of discriminating against Asian American applicants to boost student numbers amongst other groups.
Attorneys on behalf of the students argued the North Carolina college’s race-based policy had violated the Constitution’s 14th Amendment of ‘equal protection under the laws.’
Students from North Carolina held a demonstration in support of affirmative action when attorneys for both sides
Johnathan Loc, a Harvard graduate, helped organize sit-ins backing race-based admissions
They also said it was illegal under the 1964 Civil Rights Act, a landmark piece of legislation first proposed by John F. Kennedy that sought to outlaw racial discrimination.
It was born out of an anti-racist protest movement led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, the civil rights campaigner who was assassinated in 1968.
Data published on the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) shows a mixed picture when it comes to diversity in U.S. colleges nationwide.
In 2021, the last year for which figures are available, 60 percent of Asians between the ages of 18 and 24 were enrolled in college, compared to 38 percent of White people the same age.
The figure is 37 percent for Black youths, 33 percent for Hispanics and as low as 28 percent for students who describe themselves as American Indians or Alaska Natives, according to NCES.
Nine states have already made it illegal for admissions professions to consider race in college applications.
They are Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma and Washington.