Report: Supreme Court’s Right-Wing Supermajority Gearing Up to Gut Affirmative Action

New issue brief by Equal Justice Society and Take Back the Court lays out stakes of Court’s threat to equitable education this term

As the Supreme Court gears up to attack affirmative action this fall, Take Back the Court and Equal Justice Society today released a new report laying out the stakes of the consolidated cases Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard/University of North Carolina and showing how a decision invalidating race-conscious admissions policies could undo decades of progress in equitable education.

The brief also provides background on the conservative justices’ long held regressive positions on race and opposition to affirmative action policies. These include Chief Justice Roberts’ claim that affirmative action policies “may do more harm than good,” Justice Alito’s stance that attempts to mitigate systemic barriers for Black Americans are equivalent to “systematic racial discrimination” against white Americans, and Justice Thomas’ claim — while serving on the Supreme Court — that race-conscious policies “robbed my [Yale Law Degree] of its true value.”

“Many people take the position that who you vote for doesn’t matter because all candidates regardless of their party are more or less the same. To the contrary, it matters because the wrong executives and legislators give rise to a reactionary Supreme Court, that can, with the stroke of a pen, dismantle generations of civil rights progress,” said Lisa Holder, president of Equal Justice Society. “We must remember that our civil rights icons put their lives on the line to establish programs to counteract historical and systemic racism in education; and it is these programs that are at risk. An expanded Court means checks and balances, sustainable representative democracy, and a judiciary with the bandwidth to curtail extremism.”

“Affirmative action is proven to support students of color and help build diverse learning environments that benefit everyone. But despite the widespread evidence of their success, the Supreme Court’s right-wing supermajority is poised to gut these policies as part of an ongoing crusade to enact a regressive, racist agenda,” said Sarah Lipton-Lubet, executive director of Take Back the Court. “This attack on affirmative action fits squarely within the Court’s mission to uplift and exacerbate white supremacy in America. Our country needs a judiciary that works to advance equity, not attack the provisions that promote it. We have to expand the Court now — before the conservative justices continue rolling back a century of progress, this time by reversing decades of hard-won victories in education equity.”

Read the full report here.

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