Supreme Court Prohibits Race-Based Affirmative Action in College Admissions
Chief Justice John Roberts states race as factor taken into account by college admissions, only when the applicant utilizes it to explain how relevant traits tangibly influenced his/her character.
With the concurrence of Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett to this statement, the court effectively overturned its previous decision in 2003 during their ruling of Grutter v. Bollinger for the Law School of University of Michigan.
Contrarily, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Ketanji Brown Jackson’s opinions diverged. They argued this decision to subvert the progression of past years and endorse the perfunctory judgment of colorblindness in a populus still struggling to mend the contusion of segregation.
The start of this controversy was initiated when the Students for Fair Admissions - a group established by Edward Blum, a conservative activist - filed a lawsuit against Harvard and UNC. After reviewing the admission process of both institutions, basing his argument on the equal protection clause, Chief Justice Roberts race-based admissions to be a mechanism used under strict conditions - applicants and educational establishments are still allowed to to deliberate the influence of race on one’s life, but should strive to engage more with their change and growth.
Justice Thomas and Kavanaugh endorsed this opinion by challenging the 14th Amendment’s all race-conscious policies and recognizing racial discrimination, but ameliorating them with alternative, race-neutral solutions respectively. Justice Sotomayor, however, dissented, putting light to the advantages of race-conscious admissions programs, and how they effectively improves diversity and promotes the equity in academic environments.
To conclude, this pronouncement, from that point thereafter, constricts race-conscious admissions. Regardless of the courts decision, however, racism and the remnants of segregation are tangible and legitimate factors influencing the equity of any citizen. It is essential that we reason the decisions constitutionality and discuss substitute diversity directives. Race is and will remain a social construct, but until society solves the ramifications of this hiearchy and achieves an equitable society, affirmative action seems to be a constant topic of discourse and parley.