Will The Supreme Court Trike Down Affirmative Action In College Admissions?
Today the Supreme Court is hearing arguments in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, a case in which a white student alleges that the college she applied to discriminated against her by giving admissions preferences to black and Hispanic students.
This is the first time the Supreme Court has taken up a case relating to racial preferences in college admissions since 2003′s Grutter v. Bollinger which required that colleges give “serious, good-faith consideration” to promoting diversity through methods other than racial preference policies like affirmative action.
The court has gotten more conservative since 2003, when there was a fair amount of skepticism about racial preferences, and it seems likely at the very least that this college’s policies may be struck down as unconstitutional. But will the court go an extra step in striking down racial preferences for college admissions entirely?
They should. Whatever the motivation, discrimination based on race is wrong. It not only does a disservice to worthy students who don’t happen to have the skin color that makes them eligible for preferences (and it’s not just whites but other ethnic groups like Asians too), but these programs create problems for graduates who are perceived as having achieved their diplomas not necessarily because of merit but because of preferential treatment.
If these sort of racial preference policies were ever needed – and I don’t think they were – that time has come and gone. If we truly want to live in a post-racial America, where skin color doesn’t matter, then skin color has got to stop mattering.
Over the top of the entrance of the Supreme Court is engraved, “Equal Justice Under Law.” If that phrase is to mean anything, it must mean that we stop treating students differently based on their skin color.Tags: affirmative action, Supreme Court