In a 6-2 ruling, the Supreme Court concluded Tuesday that they would support the state of Michigan’s ban on using race of one of the many factors taken into account during the college admissions process. While Justice Elena Kagan was not present for the verdict (she had previously worked on this issue when she was at the Justice Department), the following female justices, Ruth Bader and Sonia Sotomayor expressed sentiments of disapproval.
According to Sotomayor “We cannot wish away racial inequality.” With that being said, Sotomayor stands firm in her stance of incorporating affirmative action policies as a factor in college admissions. Her support is further evinced in her book entitled My Beloved World. Here, the Puerto Rican justice asserts that affirmative action served to “create the conditions whereby students from disadvantaged backgrounds could be brought to the starting line of a race were unaware was even being run.” In other words, this issue goes beyond race; it extends into the socioeconomic statuses of individuals.
Nonetheless, it is no surprise that the Supreme Court has come to a consensus with the state. In 2006, the majority of the citizens in Michigan voted in favor of banning affirmative action in the state. This was as a result of a controversy in which two white students sued the University of Michigan after being rejected to the institution. The students claimed that the university’s policies favored minority applicants. Even prior to this occurrence, in 2003, the university had argued institutions of higher education could take into account race as a means when attempting to achieve a more diverse student body. Regrettably, the University of Michigan lost the case.
As a closing remark, the majority of the court stated that their ruling of upholding the ban was not about the merits of affirmative action, rather about the process by which a state can ban it.
Clarissa Garcia is a Staff Writer for Latino Giant. She is a college freshman currently Undecided at American University, but leaning to the Education field, looking into Secondary Education.
Source: NBC News