SCOTUS Case Could Spell Doom for Affirmative Action in College Admissions

supreme court affirmative action
Joe Ravi, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Today the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on two cases that could rock the liberal College Industrial Complex. It will undoubtedly renew arguments to pack the highest Court in the land.

Fortunately, we shouldn’t have to deal with mass rioting and violence until next summer when the decisions on the two cases in question are anticipated.

The topic on the docket today involves the role of affirmative action within higher education, specifically enrollment. Initially one case, now the Supreme Court is hearing arguments in two separate yet related cases.

The University of North Carolina and Harvard are facing scrutiny over their enrollment policies. The plaintiff, Students for Fair Admissions, argues that their practices discriminate against white and Asian American students.

Let’s take a closer look at these cases and what they might mean for the future of American students.

The Differences

It’s essential to understand the fundamental differences between these two institutions of higher learning and why the case was split into two. First, the University of North Carolina is a public university.

Public institutions are bound by the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. However, Harvard is a private institution. 

So what is the critical component of Title VI that is an added nugget for UNC’s case? Title VI prohibits institutions that receive federal money from participating in race discrimination.

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The arguments against the universities are slightly nuanced as well. For UNC, the argument is that the university discriminates against white and Asian applicants, preferring black, Hispanic, and Native American applicants instead.

Harvard is being accused of discriminating specifically against Asian applicants by using subjective criteria such as likability, courage, and kindness as factors when weighing enrollments for minority applicants.

These two cases were split from the original single case due to the newest Justice, Ketanji Brown Jackson. She recused herself from the Harvard case due to her involvement on one of the university’s boards.


It’s widely believed that the Court will opt to, at a minimum, scale back what institutions of higher learning can do regarding the racial factors of applicants. At a maximum, they could outright remove the ability for these places of learning to utilize race as a factor.

Imagine living in a time when race isn’t a factor in the judgment of your abilities!

Why is the left assuming that the world as they know it will end next summer with yet another Supreme Court decision? Given that these two cases were both upheld at lower courts, many believe we will see another historic decision by the highest Court.

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You see, there wouldn’t be much of a need for the Supreme Court to hear these cases since the lower courts ruled in favor of the defendants. One can make the leap that at least some of the Justices are leaning the other way if they are hearing out this appeal.

However, Justice Elena Kagan does not appear to be one of these justices, stating:

“I thought that part of what it meant to be an American and to believe in American pluralism is that, actually, our institutions are reflective of who we are as a people.”

Funny, I thought what it meant to be an American was more profound than mere skin color. 

The Wrong Kind Of Diversity

Of course, the universities’ main argument for keeping their affirmative action practices is the D word…Diversity. Justice Clarence Thomas drops a real truth bomb on this argument, stating:

“I’ve heard the word diversity quite a few times and I don’t have a clue what it means. It seems to mean everything for everyone…”

In response, UNC representative Ryan Park explained that diversity “reduces groupthink” and, as he put it, “leads to a more efficient outcome in seeking truth.” Anyone who thinks there isn’t massive liberal groupthink on college campuses in this country should come to check out a bridge that I have for sale at a great price.

As sociology professor Brad Wilcox from the University of Virginia said:

“…the dominant messages students hear from faculty, administrators and staff are progressive ones.”

We may need more diversity in professors to reduce groupthink. But the type of required diversity is the diversity of thought.

Not Even Worth It

I have two little ones; my daughter has shown an aptitude and interest at a very young age for mathematics and science, and my son, while still just a toddler, is also showing similar gifts. So, of course, I am thrilled. Still, I’m not overly excited at the prospect of them going to college…certainly not staying on campus. 

But you might say living on campus and experiencing diversity is essential to the educational experience. For the price parents have to pay, what is necessary is that they learn their chosen craft and expand their intellectual flexibility and prowess through rigorous disagreement. 

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But that’s not what happens in colleges anymore. According to a 2021 College Pulse survey of over 37,000 college students, 80% admitted that they self-censor their opinions and ideas on campus.

As Justice Thomas rightly explains:

“When a parent sends a kid to college…they don’t necessarily send them there to have fun or feel good or anything like that. They send them there to learn physics or chemistry.”


Harvard sends an invitation to apply to black students that score at least 1100 on the SAT. To receive an invitation to apply, if you are white or Asian American, you must score at least a 1310 and 1350, respectively. 

Gee, that doesn’t seem fair at all. 

Justice Alito posed a hypothetical for the plaintiff. He asked if an applicant who had moved here from an African country to a rural and mostly white part of North Carolina, and describes in an admissions essay how he or she had to confront a different culture – would that be acceptable criteria for the university to weigh for admission?

This caused Justice Kagan to bite back:

“Race is part of the culture and the culture is part of the race, isn’t it?”

I don’t think she’s necessarily wrong. Still, I believe she is oversimplifying and, in reality, shows a bit of racism in such a broad-stroke argument. Being black doesn’t mean you are doomed to grow up in poverty and receive a poor education.

And just because you are white or Asian-American doesn’t mean you were blessed with parents who paid for tutors and loved you unconditionally with endless wealth and opportunities. Lived experiences aren’t always associated with skin color; skin color is not automatically indicative of lived experiences.

Pay attention to these cases and how the left reacts to them. Do we want to continue to live in a country that weighs people’s chances for higher education and other opportunities based on the color of their skin?

Or do we want to be judged based on our abilities? They call that…equality. 

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USAF Retired, Bronze Star recipient, outspoken veteran advocate. Hot mess mom to two monsters and wife to equal parts... More about Kathleen J. Anderson

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