- The U.S. Supreme Court has reversed the policy of race-conscious college admissions, impacting Harvard University and the University of North Carolina.
- Major corporations, including Apple and Google, showed interest in the case, contending that diversity in education aids their recruitment process.
- The verdict challenges previous Supreme Court rulings on the role of race in education, starting from the historic 1954 decision of Brown v. Board of Education.
In a groundbreaking verdict, the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned a long-standing precedent, ruling against the use of racial considerations in college admissions. This historic decision was handed down on Thursday, impacting two notable institutions, Harvard University and the University of North Carolina.
By a majority of 6-3, the justices deemed these institutions' race-conscious admissions programs as infringing on the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Chief Justice John Roberts, in delivering the verdict, was joined by five others, while Justices Sotomayor, Kagan, and Jackson voiced their disagreement.
It wasn't just educational institutions that were closely watching this case. Many corporate giants, including Apple, Google, General Motors, and Starbucks, also had a vested interest. These corporations, along with nearly 40 others, advocated for diversity in higher education, arguing that it benefits their businesses by creating a broader talent pool. They also posited that curtailing this policy could adversely impact the military's pool of college-educated recruits.
This recent ruling signifies a critical shift from previous Supreme Court decisions regarding race and education, beginning with the seminal 1954 Brown v. Board of Education, which outlawed racial segregation in public schools. While the court acknowledged its past endorsements of race-based admissions, it emphasized that they were under stringent restrictions.
On one side of the argument was the group Students for Fair Admissions, led by conservative activist Edward Blum. They made the case that affirmative action is unlawful in both public and private college settings as it unfairly disadvantages qualified Asian-American and other minority applicants. On the other hand, proponents of race-conscious admissions like Harvard and UNC argued for the value of diversity in educational environments. With this ruling, the balance seems to have tipped in favor of the former, setting a new course for college admissions across the country.
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