Two upcoming Supreme Court cases on affirmative action in college admissions are soon to be heard by the Supreme Court, which could result in “an official end to affirmative action” in the United States, which would “be a massive victory for the notion of merit, not identity, being the basis for success in this country.”
The two cases, Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard College and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina, indicate how racial preferences are “an elite-driven project that’s strongly rejected by the American people.” A recent Pew Research poll found that “82% of Americans say college admissions shouldn’t consider race.”
California is a strong example of this type of policy, where in 1996, voters passed Proposition 209 banning public institutions from considering race, sex, or ethnicity in various areas, including academic admissions. In 2020, an attempt to reintroduce affirmative action “failed by an even greater margin than in 1996.”
Despite this, educational institutions, continue to find ways around these bans, implying they still prioritize racial diversity over merit-based admissions. For instance, at Harvard, “black and Hispanic students are admitted at much higher rates than white and Asian students with the same academic credentials.”
Even if the Supreme Court rules against affirmative action, universities may continue to use “indirect methods to prop up their commitment to diversity,” suggesting that the commitment to racial quotas will persist.