Racism Struck Down By Supreme Court

The Supreme Court made a groundbreaking decision, ruling that racial preferences in college admissions are unconstitutional and violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution. This decision has far-reaching implications for the use of racial preferences in various areas of law and public policy.

In 1978, the Supreme Court upheld the use of racial preferences, known as “affirmative action,” in college admissions in the Bakke case. Since then, there have been ongoing debates about the use of quotas, point systems, and other methods to favor applicants based on their race. While the Supreme Court has upheld certain approaches and limited others, conservatives have consistently argued that the Constitution does not permit any form of racial preference.

The Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause states that no state shall deny equal protection under the law to any person within its jurisdiction. The Supreme Court has always recognized that the primary purpose of this clause is to prohibit laws and policies that discriminate based on race.

Although the Fourteenth Amendment applies specifically to state governments, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 extends the prohibition of racial discrimination to institutions that receive federal funding, including most private universities.

Students For Fair Admission brought multiple lawsuits against both public and private schools. The Supreme Court selected two cases to review: a challenge to the admissions policy of the University of North Carolina (UNC) under the Fourteenth Amendment and a challenge to Harvard’s policy under Title VI.

In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court found UNC’s policy unconstitutional and reached the same conclusion with Harvard’s policy by a 6-2 vote (Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson recused herself from the Harvard case). Chief Justice John Roberts authored the majority opinion, which was supported by all the conservative and moderate justices.

The majority opinion stated that “the Harvard and UNC admissions programs cannot be reconciled with the guarantees of the Equal Protection Clause.” It emphasized that any benefits granted to a student based on overcoming racial discrimination or cultural heritage must be tied to the individual’s unique experiences and abilities, rather than their race.

Justice Clarence Thomas fully concurred with Chief Justice Roberts’ opinion but also wrote a separate statement to underscore the constitutional principle at stake. He emphasized that following the Civil War and the subsequent amendments to the Constitution, the United States became a color-blind society that does not tolerate class distinctions based on race.

Final Word. Many universities have long operated in direct opposition to this principle, mistakenly believing that a person’s identity is defined by their skin color rather than their accomplishments, skills, or personal growth. Such a choice goes against our constitutional history.

Steve Eichler J.D.

Minuteman/Co-Founder of the Tea Party


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