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Supreme Court guts affirmative action programs at UNC and Harvard

How the action affects Black students
Supreme Court guts affirmative action programs at UNC and Harvard
Harvard University (Photo: Twitter-@collegecampuses)

On June 29, the Supreme Court struck down affirmative action programs at Harvard and the University of North Carolina, the New York Times reported. The vote was 6-3.


“The Harvard and U.N.C. admissions programs cannot be reconciled with the guarantees of the equal protection clause,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote for the majority, the NYT reported. “Both programs lack sufficiently focused and measurable objectives warranting the use of race, unavoidably employ race in a negative manner, involve racial stereotyping and lack meaningful end points.”


Justice Sonia Sotomayor explained her decision in a written dissent.

“The court subverts the constitutional guarantee of equal protection by further entrenching racial inequality in education, the very foundation of our democratic government and pluralistic society,” Sotomayor wrote.


Blacks comprise 15.2% of Harvard’s student body, Asian Americans 27.9%, according to the university’s website.

“We continue to believe deeply that a thriving diverse intellectual community is essential to academic excellence,” Harvard University released in an official statement. “In the coming weeks, we’ll be working to understand the decision and its implications for our policies.”

Black students make up 8% of the student population at the University of North Carolina, according to College Factual. Asians make up 11.6% of the population.

“While not the outcome we hoped for, we respect today’s Supreme Court’s decision and will follow its guidance,” UNC chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz posted on social media. “Carolina is passionately public, and that will always be true … Carolina is committed to bringing together talented students with different perspectives and life experiences and to making an affordable, high-quality education accessible to the people of North Carolina and beyond.”

Supreme Court guts affirmative action programs at UNC and Harvard
Harvard University (Photo source: Twitter – @collegecampuses)

“The six unelected members of today’s majority upend the status quo based on their policy preferences about what race in America should be like, but is not, and their preferences for a veneer of colorblindness in a society where race has always mattered and continues to matter in fact and in law,” Justice Sotomayor wrote.

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