Supreme Court May Finally Kill Affirmative Action

( One of the most diverse Supreme Courts in history seems primed to disallow colleges and universities from using race as one of the considerations for admissions to their schools.

Earlier this week, the high court heard oral arguments in the case, which is challenging the affirmative action policies of many colleges and universities around the country.

The challenge was brought by a conservative student group called Students for Fair Admissions, and two lawyers argued on their behalf this week. On the other side were three lawyers arguing on behalf of the University of North Carolina and Harvard University.

At the heart of the cases in question is whether schools are putting in enough effort to find alternatives to be more diverse that are race neutral.

CNN reported that during the oral arguments, Chief Justice John Roberts along with conservative Justices Samuel Alito and Amy Coney Barrett pushed the lawyers representing the universities about what they were doing to build classes without directly using race as a consideration.

Barrett suggested that applicants could demonstrate any unique personal characteristics that they would bring to the table, rather than just “checking a box” that lists their race.

Roberts said if schools weren’t able to use race as part of their admissions process any more, it may actually create an “incentive for the university to, in fact, truly pursue race-neutral alternatives.”

Alito also hypothetically asked:

“Suppose that a student is an immigrant from Africa and moves to a rural area in Western North Carolina where the population is overwhelmingly White.”

Instead of using that student’s race as a qualification for admissions, he asked whether the student could write an essay that detailed how they dealt with “huge cultural differences.”

One of the lawyers for Students for Fair Admission — both of whom are former clerks for conservative Justice Clarence Thomas — went back and forth with Alito to say that could be done.

That caused liberal Justice Elena Kagan to burst out and say:

“The race is part of the culture and the culture is part of the race, isn’t it? I mean, that’s slicing the baloney awfully thin.”

Another central point of this week’s oral arguments is the 2003 case, Grutter v. Bollinger, which said race could stop being a factor in college admissions by 2028.

Roberts himself pointed out that the Grutter case said the end of the practice would come in 25 years — which would be about five years from now anyway.

Speaking directly to Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar, Roberts said:

“I don’t see how you can say that the program will ever end. Your position is that race matters because it’s necessary for diversity, which is necessary for the sort of education you want. It’s not going to stop mattering at some particular point. You’re always going to have to look at race because you say race matters to give us the necessary diversity.”

After Prelogar declined to give a particular number on when she thought the Grutter case would say affirmative action would end, conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh pressed further, saying:

“If you don’t have a number, and I understand why it’s difficult … bit if you don’t have something measurable, it’s going to be very hard for this court.”