Headline RoundupJune 30th, 2023

Supreme Court Rules Affirmative Action at Universities as Unconstitutional

Summary from AllSides News Team

The Supreme Court ruled admissions policies at the University of North Carolina and Harvard are in violation of the 14th Amendment, upending affirmative action at both private and public universities.

The Details: The court said admissions boards can still consider an applicant’s discussion of how race has shaped them, but must be “treated based on his or her experiences as an individual — not on the basis of race,” according to Chief Justice John Roberts. The votes went along party lines.

For Context: The cases were filed in 2014 by Students for Fair Admissions, which argued Harvard was unfairly discriminating against Asian Americans and UNC could have achieved diversity by means other than race. The admissions policies at both universities were previously backed by the Biden Administration.

Key Quotes: “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 endpoints. We have never permitted admissions programs to work in that way, and we will not do so today,” said Chief Justice Roberts. Justice Sonia Sotomayer said, “Today, this Court stands in the way and rolls back decades of precedent and momentous progress. It… cements a superficial rule of colorblindness as a constitutional principle in an endemically segregated society where race has always mattered and continues to matter.”

How The Media Covered It: Left-rated sources mentioned specific races like blacks and Hispanics more – from the makeup of student bodies to the Supreme Court Justices themselves. Center and Right-rated sources made very few mentions of specific races.

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