Extreme Supreme Court Continues to Shatter Precedent with Affirmative Action Ruling that Hurts Students, Turns Back Clock on American Opportunity
Washington, D.C.– Today, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down their decisions in the Students For Fair Admissions v. Harvard and Students For Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina cases, ending race-conscious admissions in public and private higher education institutions and undoing decades of progress for equitable access to higher education.
Statement from Stasha Rhodes, Campaign Director of United for Democracy, on behalf of the coalition:
“Days ago the court was celebrated by some for rejecting an extreme theory that had no business at the court in the first place. Today, the captured Court disregarded decades of precedent to restrict colleges and universities from considering race in their admissions for the first time since the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Court’s extreme majority showed their true colors once again, delivering an enormous and long sought-after win for the big-money donors who put them on the bench for exactly this purpose.
“It’s now clearer than ever that this Supreme Court has grabbed unprecedented power, shattered long-standing precedent, ignored judicial norms, rejected basic ethics and transparency and is implementing an extreme partisan agenda that Americans have continuously rejected. This Court is radically reshaping our country in ways that roll back our rights, interfere with individual freedoms and shut the door on opportunities that should be fully and equally available to all of us. Congress needs to stop this extreme and unaccountable Supreme Court.”
Statement from Becky Pringle, President of the National Education Association:
“Most of us want a country, schools and a future that includes all of us and where we all belong. But for too long, color-coded barriers have been used to prevent Black, brown, and Indigenous people from accessing the opportunities we all deserve and seek to achieve our dreams. With this decision, the Supreme Court has reinforced those barriers.
“We are stronger when our country, communities, schools, and future includes and reflects all of us. Today’s decisions by an out-of-touch and hyper-conservative Supreme Court are yet more evidence that the court is not working for all of us. The White House and Senate must hold the Supreme Court to the same laws and standards as the rest of us. And the White House and the Senate must continue to fill all judicial vacancies with qualified, fair-minded individuals who are committed to civil and human rights and social and economic justice so that our legal system can serve us all.”
Statement from Wisdom O. Cole, National Director, NAACP Youth & College Division:
“We must recognize the importance of access to higher education for all students. Regardless of income, background, or race, every student deserves a fair shot at college. Holistic admissions processes enable this fair shot and ensure that promising students from diverse backgrounds are not unjustly shut out of selective institutions. By failing to uphold affirmative action in today’s decision, the Supreme Court risks re-segregating our educational system and undermining the future leaders of our democracy and the drivers of our economy.
The impact of affirmative action extends beyond education; it touches all aspects of our society, from our legal and healthcare systems to corporate boardrooms. It is about securing true equity through adequate representation. We must continue fighting for diversity, standing for equity, and demanding inclusion in every aspect of our lives. Let’s be clear - this Court has gone rogue, and it’s up to our Congressional leaders to hold them accountable."
Statement from Diana Hwang, Founder/Executive Director, Asian American Women's Political Initiative (AAWPI):
“The Supreme Court’s decision today to reverse nearly 50 years of affirmative action is an attack on the movement for a multiracial democracy. Extremists have used our AAPI communities as a wedge in the effort to undo generations of racial progress — though the majority of Asian Americans support affirmative action. When all is said and done, when this ruling becomes reality, we too will be left behind.
Affirmative action promotes equal opportunity for people who face educational, economic, and institutional barriers to success, including Southeast Asians, Pacific Islanders, and Native Hawaiians. As AAPI women fighting for racial justice, we refuse to be exploited for our AAPI identities and used as a wedge to take down affirmative action. We call on colleges to recommit to providing opportunities for young people across race, zip code, ethnicity, and immigration status, regardless of today’s decision, and on Congress to rein in this extreme Supreme Court’s unchecked powers.”
Statement from Lisa Holder, President, Equal Justice Society:
"The Supreme Court’s decision to unravel decades of progress in affirmative action makes it clear: we do not have a level playing field. Our civil rights icons put their lives on the line to establish programs to counteract historical and systemic racism in education, and these essential programs are at risk.
"In every sector, we see data that proves that Black and Brown people continue to face extraordinary barriers, not because of a lack of industry, but because of our nation’s deep-seated legacy of inequality and bias. Now, we must take affirmative steps to overcome our history of inequality, to create equal opportunity, and to level the playing field."
“Right now, a Supreme Court majority runs roughshod over our civil and human rights. That’s why EJS is proud to be a founding partner of United for Democracy, a new coalition leading a sustained public campaign to hold the extreme Court accountable for benefitting elites and corporations over American freedoms. We won’t be deterred from fighting for a Court that makes just, equitable decisions, and we call on Congress to rein in the Supreme Court’s unchecked power.”
United for Democracy is a new national campaign launching to shine a light on the devastating impact this Supreme Court is having on our families, our communities, our freedoms, and our democracy. We are a diverse and growing coalition representing millions of Americans from all walks of life – labor organizers, grassroots organizations, and advocates for reproductive rights, the environment, and more.