SCOTUS to Hear Cases Race-Based College Admissions Policies

OPINION:  This article contains commentary which may reflect the author’s opinion

The U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) is preparing to hear challenges to the University of North Carolina (UNC) and Harvard’s race-based admissions on Oct. 31, which could disrupt the left’s messaging about affirmative action.

Harvard’s race-based admissions is just plain racism. They score Asian applicants lower on subjective factors like how personable the applicant is, while increasing subjective scores on favored races. Indeed, Harvard’s admissions would be familiar to colleges in 1890.

Local North Carolina News reported recently on the support Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson was giving to the cause.

“To them [Harvard and UNC] Asians already have it all; they don’t need help. That’s what they think,” says Kenny Xu, president of Color Us United and author of An Inconvenient Minority, said in a speech during the event.

“They can be discriminated against in favor of other minority groups because, ‘Oh! You guys are already rich, you guys already have money, you guys are already doctors.’ But they don’t understand how much sacrifice a culture has to make to come to this country with no money, no connections, no generation wealth, no privilege, and through the shear power of hard work and commitment to education and discipline come to a state where they can provide for their families.”

Robinson told the crowd that universities should prioritize accepting the brightest students in order to promote innovation.

“The N.C. Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson and Virginia Lt. Gov Winsome Sears, each the first black lieutenant governor of their respective state, have joined forces to pen a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of Asian-American students suing Harvard and UNC-Chapel Hill. Carolina Journal was present at the Lieutenant Governor’s Mansion on May 19 at a press conference where the North Carolina Asian American Coalition (NCAAC) thanked Robinson for his support.

The students in the lawsuit accuse the institutions of discriminatory admissions practices, where they are held to a higher standard during consideration because of their race.

The Robinson/Sears Amicus brief was filed May 9th.

“While it can be argued that these policies had a role in helping many Americans overcome the persistent effects of historical and past discriminations in higher education, those effects are becoming less impactful the further we travel from the dark days of state-sanctioned discrimination,” said Robinson at the event.

“Instead, they now function to unfairly discriminate against and deny opportunity to other ethnic and racial groups. Discrimination on the basis of race or ethnicity is immoral in all of its forms, and we can do better. We must do better.”

The nonprofit group Students for Fair Admissions filed the original suit in 2014, but when it was ruled in November 2021 that Chapel Hill could continue to use affirmative action in their admissions, the case was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, the North Carolina Journal reported in May.

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.”

“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.

“The Court made a serious mistake in Grutter v Bollinger (2003) when it upheld these processes under the false notion that the educational benefits from a diverse student body were more important than the Equal Protection Clause’s central command of race neutrality,” he added.

“The Court should overrule Grutter and heed Chief Justice Roberts advice from a similar case that ‘the way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.’”

“Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas previously made it clear he’s ready to strike down affirmative action, calling the practice comparable to bigotry,” Walsh wrote.

“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.

“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.”

The Supreme court has shifted further to the right, with three new conservative justices appointed by former President Donald Trump.

Eliminating the practice would send shockwaves across American higher education and leave many schools scrambling to find other ways to promote “diversity.”

NAACP Legal and Educational Defense Fund director Sherrilyn Ifill said it “threatens the nation’s ideals of equality.”

Ifill claimed that a “race-conscious admissions” process “mitigates systemic barriers to educational opportunities faced by many Black students and other students of color, ensuring that all hard-working and qualified applicants receive due consideration.”


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