In its latest ruling, the US Supreme Court has banned states from using race in university admissions. The top court denied that universities cannot admit students on the basis of their race or ethnicity. “The student should be treated as a person based on his or her experiences — not on the basis of race,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority opinion, reports AFP news agency.
In a decision that came after years of opposition to affirmative action standards that sought to promote diversity in school admissions, businesses and government appointments, the justices broke six to three on a conservative-liberal basis.
Although affirmative action “is made with good intent and implemented in good faith,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the decision in the majority opinion, “it cannot last forever, and it is unconstitutional discrimination against others.” ” Roberts wrote, “The student should be treated as a person based on his or her experiences—not on the basis of race.”
The court further noted that while universities are free to consider applicants’ backgrounds and experiences when weighing their applications, considering them primarily on the basis of whether an applicant is white or black is in itself racial discrimination. “Our constitutional history does not tolerate that option,” Roberts said.
Strongly condemning the decision, Justice Sonia Sotomayor accused the majority of being blind to the reality of a “spatially segregated society”. He wrote, “Ignoring caste will not bring equality to a society that is racially unequal.”
Following the Supreme Court’s decision, US President Joe Biden has reacted with ‘disagreement’ to the decision. US President Joe Biden said on Thursday that he “strongly” disagrees with a US Supreme Court ruling banning the use of race and ethnicity in university admissions decisions. “This decision departs from decades of precedent,” he said.
Notably, some specific universities in the states such as Harvard University, University of North Carolina (UNC) and a few others, consider the race of the candidates for admission. The idea stemmed from the civil rights movement in the 1960s that aimed to end discrimination against African Americans in university admissions.
However, members of the Conservative Party argue that the policy has outlived its purpose because of the significant benefits made by black people and other minorities. While the decision came as a blow to Republicans, conservatives cheered the decision.
Responding to the Supreme Court ruling, former President Donald Trump said, “It’s a great day for America.” Kenny Xu, a member of the Students for Fair Admissions Board, an active organization suing certain US universities over admissions policies, said the decision would curb bias against Asian-American students. “They discriminate against Asians to make room for black Americans,” he told CNN.
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