Local Leaders Share Disappointment in SCOTUS Affirmative Action Ruling (Washington, DC) —Earlier today, the US Supreme Court ruled that colleges and universities can no longer take race into consideration as a specific basis for granting admission. The conservative majority issued their opinion and stated that Harvard and University of North Carolina admissions programs violated the Equal Protection Clause because they failed to offer “measurable” objectives to justify the use of race.
5th District Cook County Commissioner Monica Gordon released the following statement regarding the decision:
“Over the years, we have watched the U.S. Supreme Court systemically dismantle affirmation action as a remedy to right the wrongs of America’s long-standing racist past. This is just another example of this court’s mission to turn back the clock on women and minorities.
“As with the Dobbs Decision to reverse abortion rights, this ruling could have far reaching implications that go beyond our nation’s colleges and into the workplace. Our court’s goal should be to expand equity, opportunity and diversity, not make them harder to achieve.
“In my role as Cook County Commissioner, I’m committed to working with my colleagues at every level of government to make sure the paths to opportunity and achievement continue to be available for everyone.”
US Congressman Jonathan Jackson also released a statement, saying, “Today’s Supreme Court decision, by a 6-3 vote, to overturn affirmative action marks a disappointing stride away from the path of progress our nation has been making toward social justice since 1978. This ruling sharply contrasts with the three notable times the Supreme Court has upheld affirmative action, specifically in Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (1978), Grutter v. Bollinger (2003), and Fisher v. University of Texas (2013 and 2016).
“These landmark decisions recognized race as a valid consideration in university admissions, serving to counterbalance systemic and institutionalized racism that has restricted opportunities for generations of Americans. Affirmative action is not a special favor but a societal obligation and a direct response to centuries of ‘negative action.’ It reflects the teachings of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., serving to right the scales of justice.
“We should not forget that Rev. Dr. King viewed affirmative action as an act of atonement, believing that ‘the moral justification for special measures for Negroes is rooted in the robberies inherent in the institution of slavery.’ As we face the disheartening reality of this ruling, his words still echo through time and hold true.
“It is striking, however, that while the Supreme Court overthrows affirmative action in higher education, it leaves it intact for the military. This sends an unsettling message – it is acceptable for our young Black and Brown men to be soldiers, yet their path to become CEOs is inexplicably constrained.
“In light of this decision, we must redouble our efforts. I remain committed to working with my colleagues in Congress to develop new, effective, and comprehensive strategies to ensure equitable opportunities for all Americans, regardless of their background.”
Local Leaders Share Disappointment in SCOTUS Affirmative Action Ruling