Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson denounced Thursday’s Supreme Court decision to end affirmative action in college admissions, saying “deeming race irrelevant in law does not make it so in life.”
In a blistering 29-page dissent, Jackson accused the high court’s conservative justices of detaching themselves from the country’s history on race.
“With let-them-eat-cake obliviousness, today, the majority pulls the ripcord and announces ‘colorblindness for all’ by legal fiat,” Jackson wrote. “But deeming race irrelevant in law does not make it so in life. And having so detached itself from this country’s actual past and present experiences, the Court has now been lured into interfering with the crucial work that UNC and other institutions of higher learning are doing to solve America’s real-world problems.”
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Her comments came in response to the ruling invalidating policies at Harvard and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) that considered race in admissions. The court’s conservative majority said the policies did not comply with the 14th Amendment guarantee of equal protection.
Thursday’s ruling involved two cases brought to the court by the group Students for Fair Admissions against both Harvard and UNC. The group — whose goal is to “eliminate race and ethnicity from college admissions” — claimed the universities discriminate against white and Asian American students with their policies.
The justices ruled 6-3 along ideological lines in the UNC case, and 6-2 in the Harvard case.
Along with Jackson, Justice Sonia Sotomayor dissented in both cases.
Sotomayor called the ruling “destructive” in a 69-page dissent, according to NBC News.
“The Court subverts the constitutional guarantee of equal protection by further entrenching racial inequality in education, the very foundation of our democratic government and pluralistic society,” Sotomayor said. “Because the Court’s opinion is not grounded in law or fact and contravenes the vision of equality embodied in the Fourteenth Amendment, I dissent.”
President Joe Biden issued a statement saying: “I strongly, strongly disagree with the court’s decision.”
Meanwhile, Wisdom Cole, national director of the NAACP Youth & College Division, called the court’s ruling a “dark day in America.”
Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson Slams Supreme Court’s Affirmative Action Ruling
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