WASHINGTON, D.C., October 31, 2022 – Today the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a pair of cases challenging the use of affirmative action in college admissions. There is no evidence to support claims that either Harvard University or the University of North Carolina’s race-conscious admissions practices resulted in discriminatory harm for the plaintiffs. Nevertheless, the conservative justices seem poised to strike down affirmative action, which would forever damage educational opportunities for students of color.
During oral arguments, the divide between the justices was stark. The liberal justices repeatedly pointed out that race was never the determinative factor for any student’s admissions and highlighted how there is no alternative to race-conscious admissions that achieves the same racial diversity on campuses. The conservatives, on the other hand, repeatedly rejected findings that there are benefits to having diversity on campuses and insisted there must be endpoints for considering race in admissions.
Alliance for Justice President Rakim H.D. Brooks issued the following statement:
“Today we saw the latest example of how this Trump Court is out of control. Based on the evidence in the record and precedent, this should be an open-and-shut case. And yet, the conservative justices are hellbent on abandoning racial equality and re-entrenching deep racial segregation.
“Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson made the thoroughly convincing observation that, in a truly equal society, every applicant should be able to share their racial experience and have that experience recognized in an admissions process. But the Trump Court seems to be embracing a framework that says, in essence, ‘Don’t say Black,’ ‘Don’t say Latino/a,’ and ‘Don’t say Asian.’ A Black applicant may not even be able to say that they are the descendants of slaves and this has played an important part in their life. That is an outrage!
“We know that diverse campuses are good for all students. If the justices decide to upend this pillar of racial equality, they will only be further prioritizing their partisan agenda over any semblance of legitimacy.”