Affirmative Action is Gone. What's Next?

Affirmative Action is Gone. What's Next?
Photo by Moses Malik Roldan / Unsplash


On June 29, the United States Supreme Court delivered a significant blow to affirmative action in a ruling that has left many Asian Americans grappling with conflicting emotions. The Court's decision in the cases of Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard College and Students for Fair Admissions v. the University of North Carolina (UNC) effectively ended the use of race as a factor in college admissions. While Asian Americans played a central role in shaping the outcome of the case, their sentiments toward the ruling are multifaceted and nuanced.

The Supreme Court's Verdict

In a 6-3 ruling against UNC and a 6-2 ruling against Harvard, the Supreme Court found that the universities' admissions systems, which considered race as a factor in applications, violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. Chief Justice John Roberts, speaking for the majority, argued that the programs lacked clear and measurable objectives that would justify the use of race in admissions. The majority further contended that these practices inadvertently perpetuated negative racial stereotypes. Justice Sonia Sotomayor dissented, expressing concerns that the decision would set back decades of progress and foster racial segregation in higher education.

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