US Supreme Court bans use of race, ethnicity in university admission



Washington DC/IBNS: The US Supreme Court Thursday banned the use of race and ethnicity during university admissions, giving a major blow to a decades-old practice that aided educational opportunities for African-Americans and other minorities.

The scrapping of this law comes a year after overturning the guarantee of a woman’s right to have an abortion.

Passing on the order, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote: “The student must be treated based on his or her experiences as an individual — not on the basis of race.”

The court said that universities were free to consider an applicant’s background in weighing their application over more academically qualified students.

“But deciding primarily based on whether the applicant is white, Black or other is itself racial discrimination,” Roberts wrote.

“Our constitutional history does not tolerate that choice,” he said.

US President’s reaction:

Soon after the law was passed, President Joe Biden on Thursday said he “strongly” disagreed with the US Supreme Court’s ruling.

The ruling “walked away from decades of precedent,” he said, adding universities “should not abandon their commitment” to create diverse student bodies.

“Discrimination still exists in America. Today’s decision does not change that. It’s a simple fact that if a student has had to overcome adversity on their path to education, colleges should recognize and value that,” he said.

“I believe our colleges are stronger when they are racially diverse… We cannot let this decision be the last word,” Biden added.

Former President Barack Obama strongly opined against the US Supreme Court’s decision saying that affirmative action policies had “allowed generations of students” including him and his wife Michelle to “prove we belonged”.

Obama argued that these policies were essential to ensuring that all students, regardless of race or ethnicity, have the opportunity to succeed.

“Affirmative action was never a complete answer in the drive towards a more just society. But for generations of students who had been systematically excluded from most of America’s key institutions-it gave us the chance to show we more than deserved a seat at the table,” Mr Obama wrote on social media.

“My heart breaks for any young person out there who’s wondering what their future holds – and what kinds of chances will be open to them,” former First Lady Michelle Obama said in a separate statement.

“And while I know the strength and grit that lies inside kids who have always had to sweat a little more to climb the same ladders, I hope and I pray that the rest of us are willing to sweat a little, too,” she added. “Today is a reminder that we’ve got to do the work not just to enact policies that reflect our values of equity and fairness, but to truly make those values real in all of our schools, workplaces, and neighborhoods.”

Meanwhile, Barack Obama’a successor Donald Trump claimed that the decision to strike down the policy will enable the US to “compete with the rest of the world”.

“This is the ruling everyone was waiting and hoping for and the result was amazing. It will also keep us competitive with the rest of the world,” he wrote on his Truth Social platform. “Our greatest minds must be cherished and that’s what this wonderful day has brought. We’re going back to all merit-based — and that’s the way it should be!”