In the wake of the Supreme Court's decision to overturn the Affirmative Action ruling designed to promote diversity and support people of color, Republicans wasted no time targeting minority scholarships and other educational initiatives. This move has ignited a fierce debate surrounding access to higher education and the ongoing underrepresentation of Black and Brown students nationwide at prestigious colleges and universities.
The recent Supreme Court ruling striking down race-conscious admissions policies has prompted Republican lawmakers to focus on minority scholarships and other procedures to address systemic inequalities in higher education. Access to higher education has many barriers for minorities, such as economic equality and academic equality, ultimately leading to the continued underrepresentation of Black and Brown students at elite colleges and universities nationwide.
Race-Conscious Admission Policies Targeted
On the same day, the Supreme Court rendered race-conscious admissions policies unconstitutional, Andrew Bailey, the attorney general of Missouri, sent a letter to colleges and universities across the state, demanding the immediate cessation of any policies granting preference based on race. A few hours later, The University of Missouri, home of 70,000 students, acknowledged Bailey’s letter and said they would end race-based financial aid programs.
Wisconsin’s Republican speaker for the State Assembly, Robin Vos, took to social media to address his next steps regarding minority scholarship programs for individuals of Black, Indigenous, Hispanic, Laotian, Vietnamese, or Cambodian descent. Replying to a tweet that labeled such programs as acts of discrimination, Vos proclaimed that they’re “reviewing the decision and will introduce legislation to correct the discriminatory laws.”
The overturning of the long-standing Affirmative Action precedent has been met with strong opposition from civil rights leaders, activists, and legal experts. Dr. Cornel West, a prominent author, and civil rights activist, recently declared his run for the presidency, condemned the decision as “another attack on Black people,” and called for a determined fightback against the erosion of equal opportunities.
Noted trial lawyer Ben Crump, renowned for his social justice advocacy, expressed his dismay over the ruling, describing it as “appalling but not shocking.” The decision has reignited discussions about the continued struggle for equal access to education and the importance of addressing systemic barriers hindering marginalized communities’ progress.
The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the Affirmative Action ruling, which had stood for half a century, has sparked a wave of controversy and passionate responses across the United States, particularly among undergraduate minority students. The ruling has reignited the ongoing debate about equity in education and the urgent need for comprehensive efforts to address systemic inequalities in higher education institutions.
Updated By: Aveon Sims (7/6/23 at 6:09 pm)
U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down Affirmative Action In College Admissions, Sparking Controversy
The U.S. Supreme Court, in a significant ruling, announced on June 29, has struck down affirmative action in college admissions, impacting federally funded schools across the nation. The conservative majority on the Court concluded that universities had prioritized race over other factors, violating constitutional principles. This decision marks a significant shift in affirmative action policies that have been in place for 45 years.
The Supreme Court’s decision has overturned previous cases that allowed the use of race as a factor in admissions plans at prestigious institutions like Harvard and the University of North Carolina. The ruling deems race-conscious admissions as unconstitutional and violating the law applying to federally funded colleges, which encompasses most educational institutions. The Court highlighted the need to prioritize challenges overcome, skills developed, and lessons learned by individuals rather than their racial background.
Justice Clarence Thomas Votes To Strike Down Affirmative Action
Justice Clarence Thomas, the sole African American male Justice on the Supreme Court, voted to strike down affirmative action. In his statement, Justice Thomas expressed his belief in the principles of equality enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution:
“While I am painfully aware of the social and economic ravages which have befallen my race and all who suffer discrimination,” Justice Thomas said, “I hold out enduring hope that this country will live up to its principles so clearly enunciated in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States: that all men are created equal, are equal citizens and must be treated equally before the law.”
While his vote may come as no surprise, given his previous stance against affirmative action, it raised questions among many, considering his own experiences with the policy.
The ruling generated widespread discussion on social media platforms and in news broadcasts, with opinions ranging from support to criticism. Popular sports broadcaster Stephen A. Smith shared his personal review of Justice Thomas’s ascent to the Supreme Court, highlighting Thomas’s acceptance into Yale’s law school program through affirmative action.
“What specifically makes it worst, without question is Clarence Thomas” the ESPN broadcaster stated. Others like NAACP President Derrick Johnson slammed Justice Thomas and his ruling on Affirmative Action. “The worst thing about affirmative action is that it created a Clarence Thomas,” Johnson said.
Under the Supreme Court’s decision, colleges and universities are no longer allowed to consider race as a factor in admissions. However, the Court clarified that applicants can still provide personal commentary on how their race and heritage have influenced their lives, as long as it is tied to their character or unique abilities that they can bring to a school.
The Biden Administration expressed opposition to the Supreme Court’s ruling and announced their commitment to supporting colleges and universities in their efforts to build diverse student bodies. They aim to guide educational institutions in navigating the new ruling and understanding the boundaries of what they can and cannot do in terms of admissions.
Meet Ketanji Jackson: The First Black Woman Justice
Reflecting on the recent Supreme Court ruling on affirmative action, it is worth looking back at Justice Ketanji Jackson, who made history as the first black woman to serve as a Justice on the Supreme Court. Her appointment marked a significant milestone for diversity and representation within the highest court in the land.
Originally Written By: Dorian Waller (7/3/23 at 5:41 pm)