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SCOTUS Sets Oct. 31 Date For Arguments On College Race-Based Admissions

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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. Yahoo’s Cheyanne M. Daniels wrote a piece detailing how Democrats are already freaking out that the nation’s highest court may strike it down.

“Affirmative action will be thrust into the spotlight next week as the Supreme Court prepares to hear two cases: Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard and Students for Fair Admissions v. the University of North Carolina. A ruling on the two cases by the conservative court could reverse 40 years of precedent of race-conscious admissions to colleges and universities,” Daniels wrote.

“At the nation’s universities, it has been used to diversify enrollment, often in schools that historically turned away minority students. A landmark case came in 1978 when the Supreme Court considered Regents of the University of California v. Bakke. Since then, schools have used race as an ingredient in selecting their student bodies,” the report added.

“Race is considered alongside socioeconomic status, where somebody grew up, what their parents’ profession was, what achievements they may have had in high school,” said Genevieve Bonadies Torres, associate director for the Educational Opportunities Project with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

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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.

“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.

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“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.

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

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“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.

“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.

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“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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