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SCOTUS Decision Looms On College Race-Based Admissions Policies As Lawsuits Mount

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


The U.S. Supreme Court will hear challenges to the University of North Carolina and Harvard’s race-based admissions.

The nation’s highest court set a date of Oct. 31 to hear the arguments.

Alex Deise, an attorney and policy manager at FreedomWorks, said the Supreme Court can deliver a “historic” decision to abolish the “ability for higher education to use race-based affirmative action in admissions.”

Both UNC and Harvard have been sued over allegations of discrimination against Asian and white Americans, with some arguing their civil rights were violated in the admissions process.

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“By taking these cases, the Supreme Court has a historic opportunity to eliminate the ability of colleges and universities to explicitly discriminate on the basis of race in their admissions process,” Deise said.

“Students for Fair Admissions Inc. v. President & Fellows of Harvard College is one of two cases to come before the U.S. Supreme Court urging the Court to eliminate race as an admissions factor and, as a result, overturn the precedent case, Grutter v. Bollinger. The case also seeks to answer whether Harvard College violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act through its alleged discrimination against Asian-American students, stemming from the initial lawsuit,” Fox News reported.

“It’s very clear to me that Harvard University was engaging in blatant discrimination. And what they were doing was they did not like the fact that Asian-Americans – if they were simply admitted based on their credentials, qualifications – would have such a huge percentage of the student body,” Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation, told Fox News.

“Harvard and the University of North Carolina have racially gerrymandered their freshman classes in order to achieve prescribed racial quotas. Every college applicant should be judged as a unique individual, not as some representative of a racial or ethnic group,” SFFA President Edward Blum said in a statement.

In addition to Harvard and North Carolina, many other U.S. colleges and universities have been sued over race-based admission policies.

Texas A&M University was “hit with a proposed class action claiming its employment policies unlawfully discriminate against white and Asian men,” Reuters reported.

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Richard Lowery, an associate professor of finance at the University of Texas at Austin, filed a complaint alleging that Texas A&M’s affirmative action policies have blocked him from obtaining a faculty job with the university because he is white.

“These discriminatory, illegal, and anti-meritocratic practices have been egged on by woke ideologues who populate the so-called diversity, equity, and inclusion offices at public and private universities throughout the United States,” Lowery’s lawyers wrote.

Laylan Copelin, vice chancellor of marketing and communications for Texas A&M, responded to Reuters by claiming that Lowery had not even applied for a job.

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Looking ahead, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas previously made it clear he’s ready to strike down affirmative action, calling the practice comparable to “bigotry.”

“I note that racial engineering does in fact have insidious consequences,” Thomas wrote, concerning a challenge to an affirmative action program at the University of Texas. “There can be no doubt that the University’s discrimination injures white and Asian applicants who are denied admission because of their race. But I believe the injury to those admitted under the University’s discriminatory admissions program is even more harmful,” Thomas previously argued.

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“Blacks and Hispanics admitted to the University as a result of racial discrimination are, on average, far less prepared than their white and Asian classmates,” Thomas added.

“The University admits minorities who otherwise would have attended less selective colleges where they would have been more evenly matched,” he argued. “But, as a result of the mismatching, many blacks and Hispanics who likely would have excelled at less elite schools are placed in a position where underperformance is all but inevitable because they are less academically prepared than the white and Asian students with whom they must compete. Setting aside the damage wreaked upon the self-confidence of these overmatched students, there is no evidence that they learn more at the university than they would have learned at other schools for which they were better prepared. Indeed, they may learn less.”

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