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Supreme Court hears arguments in case to end affirmative action in college admissions

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The United State Supreme Court heard arguments for nearly five hours on Monday in two cases against Harvard and UNC-Chapel Hill that may result in an end to affirmative action in college admissions across the country.

Conservative justices on Monday appeared to signal their support for ending affirmative action as it relates to college and university admissions. 

Affirmative action was implemented when president Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which is about the same time higher learning institutes began considering race as a factor in their admissions processes.

In 2003, another Supreme Court ruling in the case of Grutter v Bollinger upheld the previous decision, with Justice Sandra Day O’Connor writing in the majority opinion that SCOTUS “expects that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest approved today.”

The time frame of 25 years is at the crux of the arguments being made in the suits brought against Harvard and UNC-Chapel Hill, with plaintiffs arguing that the 25-year period expires in 2028, and affirmative action in college admissions is no longer necessary.

Justices Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh argued that there is no foreseeable end to affirmative action unless the schools could come up with a new date by which racial equality and sufficient diversity will have been achieved by the nation’s colleges and universities.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor argued that O’Connor’s 25-year expectation was just that – an expectation, not “a set deadline.”

Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, the newest member of the Supreme Court, argued that ending affirmative action in college admissions processes would violate the US Constitution’s equal protections clause for prospective students of color.

“I hear a process in which there’s a form that says tell us about yourself and people can put all sorts of things,” Jackson said. “But now we’re — we’re entertaining a rule in which some people can say the things they want, about who they are and have that value in the system. But other people are not going to be able to. Because they won’t be able to reveal that they’re Latino or African American or whatever. And I’m worried that that creates an inequity in the system.”

There is no scheduled date for a decision on the cases by SCOTUS.

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Donald R. Laster, Jr

Something people need to keep in mind is that real Affirmative Action has not be in use since the 1970s. What is become the Court is the use of racial quotas and double standards. Real Affirmative Action was created in California in the 1950s and looked at the actual qualifications for a job when making hiring decisions.

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