by Jon Guze
Senior Fellow, Legal Studies, John Locke Foundation
This analysis by Jim Copland and Rafael Mangual is well worth reading in full. Here’s an excerpt:
Today’s decision doesn’t force universities to allocate scarce student slots based on random draw or a strict numbers-based regime, as in many European systems. American universities will retain some measure of freedom to craft admissions policies that consider special talents, circumstances, and markers of resilience in applicants’ backgrounds. Many schools will doubtless try to use that freedom to replicate the race-based outcomes they seem to prefer. More litigation will doubtless follow.
But make no mistake: today’s decision is a monumental step toward ending America’s long history of discriminating on the basis of race. When a narrow Supreme Court majority upheld race-based affirmative action in Grutter 20 years ago, it noted its expectation “that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest approved today.” As a matter of predictive sociology, the Court was somewhat obtuse. But as a matter of law, that expectation proved prescient. As the Court’s majority points out today, its holding will first affect the coming year’s cycle of college applicants—those scheduled to graduate in 2028, exactly 25 years past Grutter. For that, there’s reason to celebrate.