A group of students of Asian background felt this was unfair and sued the University of North Carolina and Harvard University. These students say they are less likely to be accepted into these universities than students from other backgrounds. The students are backed by conservative activists.
Now the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the lawyers. This means higher education institutions are no longer allowed to ask prospective students about their race. Six conservative justices voted in favor, while three progressive justices voted against.
Biden was disappointed
The conservative majority on the Supreme Court says the way to fight discrimination is to make race no longer a factor. Biden responds with disappointment: “It reverses decades of progress.”
Exam in universities
Prestigious universities like Harvard operate with a rigorous selection process. Students must take an exam, write a good letter of motivation and have high grades. Additionally, many universities look at race. Organizations should be a reflection of society. Because a relatively large proportion of students are of Asian background, Asian-American students are not easily recruited.
The case touches on a broader debate about racism and discrimination in the United States. Many Americans believe that racism is still deeply rooted in society. Black Americans are still less educated and poorer than their white counterparts. Affirmative action, especially at elite universities, needs to fix that.
‘No more 1860’
Others believe that racism is much less prevalent these days and that positive discrimination is no longer necessary. “This is no longer 1860 or 1960,” said conservative Justice Clarence Thomas in support of the ruling.
Critics fear the move will make universities more diverse. For example, they point to California, where affirmative action has been banned since 1996. The proportion of black and Latino students dropped by half.
“Passionate analyst. Thinker. Devoted twitter evangelist. Wannabe music specialist.”