Breaking: Supreme Court overturns affirmative action in college admissions

Kasey Moulton, Editor-in-Chief

On Thursday, June 29, the Supreme Court handed down a decision in Students For Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College. The 6-2 decision struck down affirmative action and other race-conscious admissions practices, citing violations of the equal-protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, a Harvard alum, recused herself from the case, 

Affirmative action in higher education generally refers to practices that intend to increase the amount of Black, Latinx, and other racial minority students. 

In the opinion of the Court, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that race-conscious admissions practices like those used at Harvard and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill “lack sufficiently focused and measurable objectives warranting the use of race, unavoidably employ race in a negative manner, involve racial stereotyping, and lack meaningful end points.” Each of the Court’s other five conservative justices joined Roberts in the ruling.

In an email to the Whitman Community on June 29, President Sarah Bolton stated that the Court’s decision “will not change our values and our mission of providing a high-quality, rigorous liberal arts education to students from diverse backgrounds.” 

The immediate implications of the decision in Whitman’s admissions practices are still uncertain. In an email to The Wire, President Bolton said “Whitman College, like colleges across the country, is still working to understand all the detailed implications of yesterday’s ruling and will continue to do so in the coming weeks. So – it is too early to say for sure whether we will need to change some aspects of the ways we bring students to Whitman.” 

President Bolton reinforced Whitman’s commitment to campus diversity, citing the College’s recently announced partnership with the Posse Foundation and increased collaboration with other organizations serving underrepresented communities.