The Supreme Court’s June 29 rulings in SFFA v. Harvard and SFFA v. UNC that gutted race-conscious college admissions policies and subverted the meaning and purpose of equal protection under the 14th Amendment cannot and will not deter us.
The Equal Justice Society will fight on with even more vigor to redress historic systematic racial exclusion from higher education and ensure that those institutions become truly equitable, diverse, and inclusive.
Equal Justice Society and ChangeLawyers filed an amicus brief in support of students to preserve Harvard’s and UNC’s race-conscious admissions policies. The brief cautioned that California’s 25-year ban on affirmative action in higher education should serve as a warning to the country and not as a model.
Since the extreme and partisan Supreme Court supermajority ignored that warning, we must do everything we can to prevent the precipitous drops in qualified Black and Latinx students in college enrollment and applications that immediately followed California’s 1996 ban and prevent the longer term harms of lost economic opportunity and stability that affected these qualified students for years and decades after being excluded. And we must promote the values of equitable admissions programs and dispel persistent and divisive myths.
As Justice Sotomayor pronounces in her dissent, citing EJS’s and ChangeLawyers’ brief: “At bottom, race conscious admissions benefit all students . . . [t]hat includes the Asian American community.”
EJS is proud to share the important advocacy of Professor Olympia Duhart, co-president of our amicus partner Society of American Law Teachers (SALT), that educates us all on the scope of the work that lies ahead. Read her opinion piece on the rulings’ impact on the diversity of the legal profession and the mythology of a colorblind admissions process.
To learn more about we can do, register for SALT’s July 18, Noon PT, webinar “After SFFA v. Harvard/UNC: Securing the 14th Amendment’s Promise of Recourse as a foundation of Equality and Justice.” Register here.