Supreme Court Hears College Affirmative Action Case; New Study Calls It Needed


The U.S. Supreme Court has taken up the case of affirmative action for college admissions to see if it is still necessary. A new study suggests it might be.
According to,  a national media partner of, “The ultimate question facing the Supreme Court is if it’s time to end affirmative action. Though the policy has undoubtedly disrupted the plans of some students who had their hearts set on attending a particular university, it’s important to gauge the true effectiveness of the policy by examining the broader issue of whether or not it’s made a difference on those campuses that use it, to some degree, when considering students.”
The story adds, “A new study by the Civil Rights Project, that compares the University of California, which has a ban on affirmative action, and the University of Texas, believes they have found the answer. The Salience of Racial Isolation: African Americans’ and Latinos’ Perception of Climate and Enrollment Choices with and without Proposition found that at the University of California underrepresented students of color feel less respected than at peer research universities.” The study compares the ways in which California’s ban on affirmative action harms the University of California in comparison to the University of Texas and leading private institutions in terms of both the climate on campus for nonwhite students and the lack of success in recruiting top-ranked applicants of color.
The data show that at the University of California, 77 percent of Latinos feel that students of their ethnicity are respected on campus, which is significantly lower than results for Latinos at UT Austin (90 percent) and is also lower than Latinos at the two other peer universities (80 percent and 90 percent). The authors of the report says it calls “into question other recent claims of economists who assert – without the benefit of the data on selective private universities reviewed – that Prop 209, by reducing stigma, brought about a mild “warming effect” in freshmen enrollment.
With regards to the Supreme Court arguments, Chief Justice John Roberts came across as strongly opposed to affirmative action in a hearing for Fisher vs. University of Texas. According to, “… the Chief Justice at least strongly signaled his hostility toward the University of Texas’s affirmative action program, and he was not shy about it.
According to the website, “The Chief Justice was likewise hostile to other aspects of the university’s argument. He suggested that the university’s holistic admissions process might be little more than a smokescreen for racial preferences, noting … that ‘race is the only one of your holistic factors that appears on the cover of every application.’”