It may not have had the significance of the Emancipation Proclamation, or the civil rights legislation of the 1960s, but last week’s ruling by the Supreme Court that affirmative action in college admissions violates the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause is an important advancement toward equality for all.
Reaction to the 6-3 decision has been mostly predictable. Many on the left, including President Biden, moan that it is a setback and they promise to try to circumvent the ruling. The president claimed it is not “a normal court.” To a liberal, normal is only when the court rules in their favor.
Those on the right say discrimination against Asians and others who qualified for admission to Harvard and other elite universities that based admission decisions partly on race are hailing the ruling as just and fair, because they believe a student’s admittance or denial can now be based solely on merit and not ethnicity. The court’s ruling does, however, allow for students in their application essays to describe difficult upbringings which can be used as part of the process for deciding who gets admitted and who doesn’t.
To some, affirmative action was code not only for discrimination, but condescension. It implied that