Will Supreme Court End Affirmative Action on College Admissions?

The Supreme Court will soon be hearing two cases, Students for Fair Admission v. the University of North Carolina and Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard University, concerning affirmative action and the overall impact of race-based policies on college admissions.

This has been an issue since the 1977 Ad Hoc Committee on Racial and Ethnic Definitions established Statistical Policy Directive No. 15, which grouped people into several broad classifications: White, Black, Asian, Native American, and people of Hispanic heritage. Now that affirmative action is being brought to the highest court, it will be interesting to see how they decide.

John Malcolm, Vice President of the Institute for Constitutional Government at the Heritage Foundation, noted that assuming all other criteria are the same, Asian students have a 25% chance of admission at Harvard; White students have 35%; Hispanic students have 75%; and Black students have 95% opportunities.

This disparity has raised the unconstitutional rights of the government, forcing Americans to pick one single racial identification. Biomedical researchers conducting studies with human participants should be allowed to use other, more accurate methods of classification rather than basing it on race. This problem also includes grouping Asian Americans from different Asian countries despite their many cultural differences.

The Supreme Court’s ruling on this matter could be biased and state that universities should only use race as a last resort for diversity when everything else has been tried, or it could be broader. According to David Bernstein, a legal expert and the author of “Is Admissions Fair? A Look at Affirmative Action,” if the Court makes a narrow ruling, universities will keep using race in whatever manner they please. He believes the Supreme Court is losing patience with institutions that refuse to explore other remedies instead of immediately resorting to affirmative action policies based on race.

However, another question arises concerning what will happen if the Supreme Court ends affirmative action on college admissions. What problem can happen with the “colorblind” admission process? If race is removed from college admissions altogether, universities could be forced to rely solely on objective data such as grades and test scores. This may lead to a decrease in the number of minority students accepted into higher education institutions.

The affirmative action debate has spanned decades, with little progress toward settling it permanently. The Supreme Court’s upcoming decision is an opportunity to end this controversial issue finally, and it will be interesting to see how they rule. Hopefully, the ruling will bring more fairness into college admissions while also considering all applicants’ diverse backgrounds. Whatever their decision may be, it should open up a dialogue that explores alternatives to traditional affirmative action policies while maintaining a commitment to diversity. Only time will tell how this will all play out.

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