(LifeSiteNews) — The United States Supreme Court has ruled that affirmative action policies in place at Harvard and the University of North Carolina (UNC) violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.
The court was predictably split in its ruling, with Chief Justice John Roberts leading the six-justice conservative majority, while the three liberal judges on the high court dissented.
“The Harvard and UNC admissions programs cannot be reconciled with the guarantees of the Equal Protection Clause. 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 endpoints,” wrote Roberts. “We have never permitted admissions programs to work in that way, and we will not do so today.”
“The student must be treated based on his or her experiences as an individual — not on the basis of race,” said the Chief Justice. “Many universities have for too long done just the opposite. And in doing so, they have concluded, wrongly, that the touchstone of an individual’s identity is not challenges bested, skills built, or lessons learned but the color of their skin. Our constitutional history does not tolerate that choice.”
Roberts added that “nothing in this opinion should be construed as prohibiting universities from considering an applicant’s discussion of how race affected his or her life, be it through discrimination, inspiration, or otherwise.”
The pair of cases were brought against Harvard and UNC by Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) in 2014 challenged affirmative action precedent set by the court in Grutter v. Bollinger two decades ago.
While Robert’s majority opinion did not knock down Grutter v. Bollinger, in his concurring opinion Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that Grutter is “for all intents and purposes, overruled.”
The New York Times led the way criticizing the court’s decision, suggesting, “In disavowing race as a factor in achieving educational diversity, the court all but ensured that the student population at the campuses of elite institutions will become whiter and more Asian and less Black and Latino.”
But the court’s ruling was greeted by conservative Blacks and other people of color.
“I applaud the Supreme Court decision to uphold the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment and US statutory law,” tweeted University professor and author, Dr. Carol Swain.
I applaud the #SupremeCourt decision to uphold the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment and US statutory law. It was the RIGHT thing to do! Civil Rights Laws apply to everyone. #affirmativeaction pic.twitter.com/eBzN7t2u90
— Dr. Carol M. Swain (@carolmswain) June 29, 2023
“He dismantled the reductionist and bigoted foundation of Affirmative Action through historical facts and concrete data — he continues to prove why he’s arguably the best justice in SCOTUS history.”
If you haven’t read Justice Clarence Thomas’ concurrence, you’re missing out. He dismantled the reductionist and bigoted foundation of Affirmative Action through historical facts and concrete data — he continues to prove why he’s arguably the best justice in SCOTUS history 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/lzFL88uI5K
— Javon A. Price 🇺🇸 (@JavonAPrice) June 29, 2023
“Affirmative action is the single greatest form of institutional racism in America today,” wrote rising GOP Presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy in a video response to social media, who promised that if elected, would end affirmative action policies “in every sphere of American life.”
“‘Elite’ universities will now start to play complex games to achieve the same results using shadow tactics like deprioritizing test scores,” predicted the candidate. “Time to restore colorblind meritocracy once and for all.”
Affirmative action is the single greatest form of institutional racism in America today. The Supreme Court just struck it down in college admissions. As President, I will end it in every sphere of American life. Meritocracy and “equity” are fundamentally incompatible. Mark my… pic.twitter.com/8qrfe9sMiL
— Vivek Ramaswamy (@VivekGRamaswamy) June 29, 2023
This case is personal to me. My daughter, who is Hispanic, is applying to colleges this fall. She will not have any boxes to check and will be considered based on the content of her character, not her skin color or ethnicity.
I am thankful for that. https://t.co/Pyfcg4KN12
— Carrie Severino (@JCNSeverino) June 29, 2023
“The vision of Dr. Martin Luther King was that we’re judged by the content of our character, not the color of our skin, and that is what won today,” reacted Roger Severino, former Director of the Office of Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.