HomeCampusScotus knocks down the use of race in college admissions

Scotus knocks down the use of race in college admissions

The Supreme Court’s conservative majority overturned the use of race in the college admissions process Thursday, reports CBS News.

The ruling overturned more than 40 years of precedent when the court ruled in the Bakke decision that race could be used as a factor in admissions while banning quotas in a case against the University of California.

The justices determined the programs at the University of North Carolina and Harvard violated the equal protection clause by a 6-3 vote in the UNC case and 6-2 in the Harvard case.

Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson recused herself in the Harvard case, fulfilling a promise she made to U.S. Senator Ted Cruz during her confirmation hearing last spring, according to WGBH.

She is a Harvard graduate and recently served on its Board of Overseers while her daughter is a first-year student there. Chief Justice John Roberts is also a Harvard graduate, but did not recluse himself nor did Justice Elena Kagan, the former dean of Harvard Law School.

ABC reports the ruling did leave a crack in the door open for the use of race saying in its decision written by Roberts 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.”

The ruling also criticized both universities saying its 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, those admissions programs cannot be reconciled with the guarantees of the Equal Protection Clause”

Today’s decision is a victory for Students for Fair Admissions which charged the programs discriminated against Asian American and White students despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of long-established Asian American groups support affirmative action in college education.

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