Ketanji Brown Jackson Pens Scathing SCOTUS Affirmative Action Dissent – Rolling Stone

ketanji brown jackson affirmative action

The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that universities may not consider race in their admissions decisions

The Supreme Court has deemed race-based affirmative action in college admissions unconstitutional.

The court’s conservative majority ruled on Thursday universities can not consider an applicants’ race when deciding whether to admit them. The decision means higher-learning institutions will have to overhaul efforts to cultivate a diverse student body.

The court’s three liberal justices dissented. Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman to serve on the court, called out her conservative colleagues in a scathing dissent. “With let-them-eat-cake obliviousness, today, the majority pulls the ripcord and announces ‘colorblindness for all’ by legal fiat,” she wrote. “But deeming race irrelevant in law does not make it so in life. And having so detached itself from this country’s actual past and present experiences, the Court has now been lured into interfering with the crucial work that UNC and other institutions of higher learning are doing to solve America’s real-world problems.”

The court sided with Students for Fair Admissions in its decision. The group had sued Harvard and the University of North Carolina, arguing that the schools discriminated against white and Asian applicants.


“The student must be treated based on his or her experiences as an individual — not on the basis of race,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority opinion, siding the court’s five other conservative justices. “Many universities have for too long done just the opposite,” Roberts continued. “And in doing so, they have concluded, wrongly, that the touchstone of an individual’s identity is not challenges bested, skills built, or lessons learned but the color of their skin. Our constitutional history does not tolerate that choice.”

Brown Jackson disagrees, to say the least. “No one benefits from ignorance,” she added in her dissent. “Although formal race-linked legal barriers are gone, race still matters to the lived experiences of all Americans in innumerable ways, and today’s ruling makes things worse, not better.”

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