The U.S. Supreme Court has struck down the consideration of race in college admissions – putting an end to affirmative action programs in higher education. In rulings Thursday, the highest court in the land said affirmative action programs at the University of North Carolina and Harvard violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution.
As a result of the court decision, State Attorney General Andrew Bailey said he has warned dozens of Missouri universities and cities to immediately end these race-based policies.
“These rulings make clear that disfavoring some applicants because of race is not only deeply unpopular; it is unconstitutional,” Bailey said in a news release. “All Missouri programs that make admitting decisions by disfavoring individuals based on race—not just college admissions, but also scholarships, employment, law reviews, etc.—must immediately adopt race-blind standards.”
Bailey said he has informed the University of Missouri System, Missouri State University, and the mayors of St. Louis, Kansas City, and Columbia, among others.
In a news release, Missouri Congresswoman Cori Bush, D-St. Louis, said the Supreme Court has rolled back protections for people in marginalized communities.
“Ending affirmative action in higher education—which the Court had already held to be legal—will have devastating impacts on our communities. Universities have historically denied Black, brown, and Indigenous people from accessing institutions of higher education. Affirmative action helped level the racist and uneven playing field,” she said. “Colleges and universities must ensure students benefit from the diverse perspectives and experiences of qualified students from all backgrounds. This is yet another example of why we must double down on our efforts for Court reform, pass the Judiciary Act and reclaim democracy.”
The University of Missouri System said it is making changes to follow the court ruling.
“As allowed by prior law, a small number of our programs and scholarships have used race/ethnicity as a factor for admissions and scholarships. Those practices will be discontinued, and we will abide by the new Supreme Court ruling concerning legal standards that applies to race-based admissions and race-based scholarships,” said a news release from the system. “UM universities will honor our financial aid commitments that have already been awarded to our returning and incoming students. These awards were lawfully issued under previous Supreme Court and U.S. Department of Education interpretations.”