The recent Supreme Court ruling to ban the consideration of race in college admissions, effectively ending the practice of affirmative action, is a significant victory for conservatives. Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the majority, rightly acknowledged that the admissions programs at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. This decision marks a pivotal moment, overturning the flawed precedent set by the 1978 case Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, which upheld race-conscious admissions.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s dissent reflects a misguided perspective. She claims that the Court’s ruling “rolls back decades of precedent and momentous progress” and perpetuates a “superficial rule of colorblindness.” However, her argument fails to recognize the inherent flaws in using race as a basis for admissions decisions. In an endemically segregated society, the focus should be on merit, not on perpetuating divisions based on race.
Conservatives have long been critical of affirmative action policies, and the current 6-3 majority on the Court has been moving toward this eventual decision. Chief Justice Roberts, in particular, has consistently voiced opposition to such policies, rightly arguing that the way to combat discrimination is to stop discriminating based on race. This ruling aligns with conservative principles of equal opportunity and meritocracy, ensuring that college admissions are based on individual achievements and qualifications rather than arbitrary factors like race.
It is essential to note that the Court’s decision does not prohibit universities from considering an applicant’s experiences with discrimination or racial influences in their personal lives. However, it rightly invalidates the use of race as a determining factor in admissions processes. Universities must find alternative ways to foster diversity without resorting to discriminatory practices. This ruling challenges institutions to develop race-neutral policies that uphold the Constitution’s promise of equal protection under the law.
Some argue that overturning affirmative action will result in fewer minority students on campuses. However, this perspective overlooks the fact that diversity can be achieved through other means. By shifting the focus to merit and providing equal opportunities for all students, universities can ensure a diverse student body based on talent, achievements, and unique backgrounds.
The Supreme Court’s decision on affirmative action sends a powerful message. It affirms the conservative belief in a colorblind society, where individuals are judged on their merits rather than the color of their skin. This ruling encourages universities to reassess their admissions practices, fostering fairness and equal opportunity for all applicants. The decision paves the way for a more inclusive society, where success is determined by hard work, dedication, and individual accomplishments, rather than by factors beyond an individual’s control.