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Despite scenes of protest and statements of disapproval from the leadership of colleges and universities across the country, the majority of Americans are supportive of the recent Supreme Court decision restricting race-based college admissions.
According to a new ABC News/Ipsos poll conducted after the High Court’s decision on Thursday, 52% of Americans believe the ruling against Harvard University and the University of North Carolina’s affirmative action policies was the right one. On the other hand, 32% of Americans disapprove of the decision, while 16% are unsure, ABC News reported.
The poll found that the vast majority of Republicans, 75%, and most independents, 58%, agree with Justices John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett on race-based admissions. Just 26% of Democrats feel the same way, according to the poll.
Broken down along racial lines, most white people, 60%, think the decision was the right one, while 58% of Asians agree. Among Hispanics, 40% approve and 40% disapprove, and 52% of black people disapprove of the Court’s decision.
However, the poll found that roughly two-thirds of Americans believe Asian and white students have a “fair chance” of admission into the college of their choice, while that number is 50% for Hispanic students and 47% for black students, according to ABC.
“Most white Americans believe that people of all racial backgrounds have a fair chance to get into the college of their choice,” the Ipsos page revealing the results said. “Compare that to Black Americans, most of whom believe that Black people have an unfair disadvantage. Similarly, a significant minority of Latino Americans believes people of their ethnic group have an unfair disadvantage.”
On Thursday, the Court ruled that the race-based admissions programs at Harvard violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and the University of North Carolina violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.
The court voted six to three in the University of North Carolina case and six to two in the Harvard case. Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, a Harvard graduate and former Harvard board member, recused herself from the Harvard case.
Hundreds of universities that consider race in admissions and scholarship decisions will now have to find non-race-related ways to replace affirmative action.
The poll also discovered that more Americans than not support the Supreme Court striking down President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan last week. Forty-five percent of Americans back the Court’s decision, while 40% believe the president had the authority to forgive federally-subsidized student loans.
Additionally, 43% of Americans believe the Supreme Court made the right call in 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, which ruled that Lorie Smith could not be forced by state civil rights law to design websites that run counter to her sincerely-held religious beliefs. Forty-two percent of Americans believe that was the wrong decision, and 14% said they didn’t know, the poll found.
Mairead Elordi contributed to this report.