Supreme Court’s Decision on Affirmative Action Deprives Students of Equitable Opportunities


The Supreme Court on Thursday struck down affirmative action programs at the University of North Carolina and Harvard

In a recent 6–3 decision, the conservative-controlled Supreme Court has banned race-based affirmative action on college campuses, igniting a nationwide debate on the impact of the ruling. The decision is expected to lower the number of Black and Latino students at elite college campuses, raising concerns about the equitable access to education for underrepresented minorities. As long as racial disparities persist, the need for affirmative action policies remains evident. It is essential for Americans to acknowledge the harm caused by such a decision and work towards creating a more inclusive and diverse educational system.


The misconception that White women, as the primary beneficiaries of affirmative action programs, would also suffer in the absence of such policies has been debunked. The Supreme Court’s ruling specifically targets race-based affirmative action while leaving gender-based affirmative action programs, legacy admissions, and athletic admissions intact. Consequently, the ones most affected by this decision are Black students and other racial minorities.

Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson’s dissent in the Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina case expresses strong criticism of the majority’s “colorblindness for all” approach. She argues that deeming race irrelevant in law does not erase the racial disparities that persist in society. Gulf-sized race-based gaps exist in health, wealth, and well-being among American citizens, and these disparities have been perpetuated through generations.

The court effectively ended affirmative action, and I strongly disagree with the court’s decision,” US President Joe Biden said, after the Supreme Court struck down affirmative action programs at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina

Protest in front of the Supreme Court of the United States. Image from Twitter/@MCagriGuler

The ban on race-based affirmative action programs highlights the gap between the ideology of colorblindness and the reality of racism. Critics of affirmative action often argue that a race-blind approach is the solution, but this overlooks the deep-rooted racial disparities that exist in the country. By denying the racial admissions gap and refusing to value diversity, the conservative majority on the Supreme Court has shown indifference to the challenges faced by Black, Latino, and Indigenous students.

The argument that race-based affirmative action policies give preferential treatment to Black students ignores the fact that racial discrimination limits opportunities for these students in the first place. Racism continues to negatively impact Black individuals from early life to adulthood, hindering their access to quality education and opportunities.

The conservative Supreme Court Justices’ decision is not rooted in critical analysis, as evidence from schools shows that Black student enrollment dropped after the ban on race-based affirmative action policies. It is also not rooted in precedent, as the Supreme Court previously allowed the use of race as a factor as long as it wasn’t the sole determining factor in admissions.

Legacy-based admissions, which predominantly benefit White students, demonstrate the double standards at play in the college admissions process. Removing race-based affirmative action policies while leaving legacy admissions untouched perpetuates racial disparities.

Despite the ban, the need for race-based affirmative action programs persists, as Black students continue to be deprived of equitable educational opportunities. The discussion surrounding affirmative action is far from over, as universities grapple with finding effective alternatives that promote diversity and equal opportunities for all students.


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