Affirmative action challenge heads to SCOTUS

Published: Oct. 27, 2022 at 5:34 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - The University of North Carolina’s admissions policy will play a central role in a U.S. Supreme Court case challenging affirmative action. That’s the policy that allows colleges and universities to consider an applicant’s race to increase diversity on campus.

The University of North Carolina has said it continues considering race to increase diversity after its long history of racial discrimination.

Ed Blum, the President of Students for Fair Admissions, is asking the Supreme Court to effectively end affirmative action.

Blum told Gray Television’s Washington News Bureau, “a student’s race shouldn’t be something that is used in gaining admission to a college.”

Blum argues that race-conscious college admissions policies discriminate against Asian-American students. Blum’s challenge focuses on the policies at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina. However, if the court sides with him, it could have a sweeping effect on affirmative action in college admissions.

Blum said, “it is our hope that colleges will lower the bar a little bit for kids from disadvantaged backgrounds. That makes college admissions much fairer. And that, I think, is what the American civil rights ideal is all about.”

Dozens of groups, including the NAACP, the American Bar Association and the Asian-American Legal Defense Fund, filed briefs with the Supreme Court opposing Blum’s lawsuit, outlining reasons they believe the court should uphold affirmative action.

Jonathan Feingold, a law professor from Boston University, also filed a brief with the court opposing Bloom’s lawsuits.

Feingold said, “if you’re looking at just the plaintiff’s evidence, it is true that Asian-Americans are likely suffering some sort of harm. But the source isn’t affirmative action, and the beneficiaries are white applicants, not other students of color.”

Blum’s group lost cases challenging Harvard’s and North Carolina’s policies in lower courts.