Supreme Court may overturn university admissions policies based on race | Tech US News

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Two cases before the Supreme Court could end affirmative action in university admissions.

Such admissions policies have been challenged because they could disqualify students based on race.

The court heard oral arguments Monday in both cases, lawsuits filed in 2014 by Students for Fair Admissions (SFAA) — one against Harvard University and the other against the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC).

The Harvard lawsuit alleges that Asian-Americans who apply to Harvard are not as likely to be accepted as members of other races with comparable qualifications.

In another lawsuit, the SFAA alleges that “UNC discriminates against its members by considering race in its admissions process when the university is not required to do so in order to build a diverse student body,” it says Court Reporter Amy Howe.

Affirmative action based on race was upheld in a 2003 case Grutter v. Bollinger, in which theThe court ruled that it is permissible “if it is intended to achieve an educational benefit with a diverse body,” says one summary. In the majority opinion, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor said she “expects that in 25 years the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to advance the interest that is granted today.”

Now calling the SFAA Grutter to be outvoted. Group stated in the court filing that “public schools have no legitimate interest in maintaining an accurate racial balance and no compelling interest in preventing minor declines in average SAT scores.

“The same Fourteenth Amendment that required public schools to desegregate after Brown cannot be cowed by the dictates of university administrators.”

The SFAA refers to Brown v. Board of Education decision in both cases with the argument that Grutter is inconsistent with brown, the landmark decision that racial segregation in public schools violated the 14th Amendment. The group also argues that Harvard, although a private school and therefore not subject to the scrutiny of the 14th Amendment, is still subject to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Although the scope of cases is limited to admissions policies, reversal is possible Grutter should have a much wider impact. Harvard and UNC argue that it would even affect business and the medical field.

However, others see the ruling favoring the SFAA as a step toward justice for the university’s applicants, such as Asian groups that the SFAA claims are harmed by such policies.

“Racial preferences are an injustice to people who should have been admitted to a university but were rejected to make way for an applicant who was admitted because of his immutable characteristics,” said Mike Gonzalez, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation. Central square.

The court’s decision is expected next year.

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