What’s happening: An upcoming Supreme Court ruling could mark the end of affirmative action policies in the United States. Two cases against Harvard and the University of North Carolina (UNC) argue that their affirmative action policies discriminate against Asian American students to increase enrollment of African-American and Hispanic students. SCOTUS is expected to rule against the colleges in June.
The numbers: A Princeton study found that, because of affirmative action, Asian SAT scores had to be 140 points higher than white students’ scores, 270 points higher than Hispanic students’ scores, and 450 points higher than black students’ scores to be admitted into prestigious universities.
What colleges are saying: Affirmative action supporters argue that its elimination would decrease diversity in higher education. In a brief, 33 private colleges and universities urged the Supreme Court to vote in favor of Harvard and UNC and pledged to keep affirmative action regardless of the Court’s ruling.
Big picture: The ideology of affirmative action has permeated every major institution in America. Corporations hire based on race, schools accept based on race, and during the pandemic, public health officials encouraged hospitals to treat based on race. While supporters view affirmative action practices as justice for past wrongs, opponents see it as modern discrimination. The SCOTUS decision could have a rippling effect throughout the country.