The Volokh Conspiracy
Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent
The Washington Examiner just published my article on the Supreme Court's recent ruling against racial preferences in admissions at Harvard and the University of North Carolina. Here is an excerpt:
The Supreme Court's ruling against racial preferences in college admissions not only upends the controversial policy but redirects the wider debate about what constitutes a "colorblind society" and how to achieve it. But much remains to be done to heed Chief Justice John Roberts's admonition that "eliminating racial discrimination means eliminating all of it."
The decision, centered on affirmative action policies at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina, severely restricts, even if it doesn't completely ban, the use of racial preferences for purposes of realizing possible educational benefits of "diversity…."
Roberts's majority opinion effectively outlined many of the flaws in diversity preferences, including nebulous goals, reliance on crude racial classifications and stereotypes, and the unconstitutional use of race as a "negative" to disadvantage Asian American applicants, among others. Justice Neil Gorsuch's concurrence correctly pointed out that the cases could have been resolved more easily by relying on the plain text of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Despite some flaws in the majority's reasoning, the decision is an important step forward. But much remains to be done to heed Roberts's admonition that "eliminating racial discrimination means eliminating all of it." Realizing the ideal of colorblind government will require steps that will be difficult for many on the Right as well as the Left.
I wrote about what it will take to fully implement color-blindness in government policy in greater detail here.