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Supreme Court Ends Affirmative Action at Harvard and UNC

June 29, 2023 | By Kali Girl

NBC News reports, in a significant win for conservative activists, the Supreme Court ruled against affirmative action programs at the University of North Carolina (UNC) and Harvard, effectively putting an end to the systematic inclusion of race in the admissions process.

The court found both programs to be in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution. The vote was 6-3 in the UNC case and 6-2 in the Harvard case, with Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson recused.

This decision overturns the 2003 ruling in Grutter v. Bollinger, where the court allowed universities to consider race as a factor in admissions to promote campus diversity.

By doing so, the court has discarded decades of precedent, including a 1978 ruling that upheld the limited consideration of race in university admissions to address historical discrimination against Black individuals and other minorities.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that 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 end points.”

Jackson, the first Black woman to serve on the court, wrote in a dissenting opinion that the ruling was “truly a tragedy for us all.”

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, another liberal and the first Hispanic justice, wrote that the court “stands in the way and rolls back decades of precedent and momentous progress.”

The recent court decision delivers a substantial blow to prestigious universities that argue the importance of considering race in their admissions processes to foster diversity among their student bodies.

Prominent institutions such as Yale University, Brown University, Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Chicago, and Dartmouth College, along with numerous others, have admissions policies that factor in race as a crucial element.

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