Education After Affirmative Action – The New Yorker

by | Oct 29, 2022 | Education

When Supreme Court Justices want to justify overruling long-standing precedent, the paradigm often cited is Brown v. Board of Education, from 1954, which, in declaring segregation unconstitutional, overruled Plessy v. Ferguson and its “separate but equal” doctrine, from a half century earlier. During the last term, Justice Samuel Alito offended many people when he compared the Court’s overruling of Roe v. Wade to Brown’s overruling of Plessy. (He continued to offend people last week, when a new book by John A. Farrell revealed that, during Alito’s confirmation hearings, he had privately told Senator Ted Kennedy, in reference to Roe, “I am a believer in precedents.”)This term, the Court will lean more pointedly into Brown’s legacy in a pair of cases about the use of race in college admissions. Eight years ago, Students for Fair Admissions, a group founded by the conservative activist Edward Blum, filed lawsuits claiming that the policies of Harvard and the University of North Carolina are racially discriminatory. The universities successfully defended themselves in the lower courts, but the Supreme Court, which hears oral arguments in both cases on October 31st, will likely overrule more than four decades of precedents, and declare that it is unlawful to use race as a factor in admissions.S.F.F.A. alleged in the 2014 suits that race-consc …

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