News and Commentary

Attorney: Supreme Court Has ‘Historic Opportunity’ To End Race-Based College Admissions
Jia Wu joins protestors during a press conference held by Harvard attorneys following closing arguments in the Harvard admissions trial at the the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse in Boston on Nov. 2, 2018. Harvard University quietly changed significant portions of its training manual for admissions officers this year, addressing some of the key issues at the heart of an ongoing federal trial over whether the school discriminates against Asian-American applicants.
(Photo by Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

On Monday, the Supreme Court of the United States announced it would be hearing multiple cases dealing with race-based admissions practices at two colleges: Harvard University and the University of North Carolina. Alex Deise, an attorney and policy manager at FreedomWorks told The Daily Wire that the Court’s decision has the potential to be “historic” and the decision could abolish the ability for higher education to use race-based affirmative action in admissions.

“The Supreme Court agrees to hear a pair of cases that challenge the race-based affirmative action policies for admission at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina,” SCOTUS Blog reported Monday. “The cases likely will be argued next term.”

The Daily Wire reported on Monday that the court “will decide if the admissions processes violate civil rights laws. Both Harvard and UNC have been sued over apparent discrimination against Asian and white Americans.”

Deise, a regular commenter on the court, believed the court should overturn previous cases that allow for race-based practices.

“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 told The Daily Wire.

“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 was 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 ‘[t]he way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.'”

The Daily Wire noted Monday that conservative justices like Clarence Thomas appear ready to strike down affirmative action, even likening the practice to “bigotry” which hurts all Americans in one way or another regardless of race:

“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.”

“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 said.

“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.”

Now, with a 5-4 decision, Thomas and others on the court could rule in these cases once and for all that affirmative action violates the U.S. Constitution.

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