Friday, December 1, 2023

Affirmative Action Banned in College Admissions


The Supreme Court of the United States handed down a ruling yesterday that effectively bans the use of race as a factor in college admissions decisions, The Associated Press reports.

Race-conscious admissions plans violate the Constitution, the 6-3 majority ruled; colleges that get federal funding, as almost all do, could now be forced to alter their admissions policies. Chief Justice John G Roberts Jr said the programs “unavoidably employ race in a negative manner” that violates the Constitution.

“Many universities have for too long wrongly concluded that the touchstone of an individual’s identity is not challenges bested, skills built, or lessons learned, but the color of their skin,” the chief justice wrote. “This Nation’s constitutional history does not tolerate that choice.”

In other words, there may have been a time in American history when affirmative action was needed to make fair college admissions decisions, but that time is now past, following the majority’s logic. What is proper—and constitutional—is to base college admissions decisions on merit alone, without regard for past wrongs.

Both the majority and dissent put forth opinions that referenced the precedent-setting school segregation case Brown v. Board of Education (1954). While Chief Justice Roberts said the lesson of Brown was that “the time for making distinctions based on race had passed,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor, in her dissent, said that was revisionist history. “Brown,” she wrote, “was a race-conscious decision that emphasized the importance of education in our society.”

Long-term systemic racism and ongoing discrimination against racial minorities are contentious issues in American life, Republican presidential candidate former Vice President Mike Pence told NBC News. But giving students whose skin is a specific color extra points in college admissions is no longer a path forward.

President Joe Biden expressed disappointment with the decision. “The truth is, we all know, discrimination still exists in America,” he said. “But we cannot let the decision be a permanent setback for the country.”

Paul Katula
Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Recent Posts

Star Sportsmanship on a Wis. Cross-Country Track

Two cross-country runners displayed great sportsmanship at a Wis. meet as they stopped short of the finish line to help a competitor.

Old Chicago School Buildings Brace for Heat

Wildfires in Hawaii Kill at Least 93

Illinois Bans Book Bans