Poll Shows Majority of Americans in Favor of Supreme Court Ruling on Affirmative Action

Public Supports Supreme Court Decision on Affirmative Action, Ending Policies at Universities.

The recent ruling by the Supreme Court on June 29, which declared affirmative action policies in universities as a violation of the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause, has received substantial backing from the American public.

With a 6-2 and 6-3 vote, the Court effectively terminated the practice of affirmative action in college admissions. Following the lead of Harvard and the University of North Carolina, other educational institutions are expected to follow suit.

These decisions overturn a long-standing precedent set by the 1978 Supreme Court case, Regents of the University of California v. Bakke. According to a YouGov poll, over 55 percent of surveyed Americans agreed with the Court’s rulings, indicating a consensus that college admissions should be based on merit rather than race.

The poll further revealed that 68 percent of Republicans, 52 percent of independents, and 46 percent of Democrats expressed approval for the decision.

Chief Justice John Roberts, who authored the majority opinion, emphasized the importance of a colorblind admissions process at U.S. universities. Justice Clarence Thomas, concurring with the majority, added that affirmative action “imposes a stigma” on minority groups.

Despite the public support, there were critics of the decision. President Biden characterized it as the “end of affirmative action in college admissions.” Dissenting Justice Sonia Sotomayor strongly disapproved of the ruling, arguing that it “entrenches racial inequality.” Columbia University President Bollinger also expressed disappointment with the decision.

However, other educators and scholars suggest that this ruling may lead to a shift towards more transparent and equitable admissions processes. These processes could consider factors such as socioeconomic status, geography, and personal hardships, rather than solely focusing on race.

It is worth noting that the elimination of affirmative action policies at other institutions in the past has resulted in declines in minority admissions. The Supreme Court’s decision allows for the consideration of race in applicants’ personal narratives regarding how it has impacted their lives.

Overall, the Supreme Court’s rulings represent a significant milestone in American jurisprudence and continue to fuel the national debate on race, merit, and access to higher education. As colleges and universities adapt their admissions policies in response to these rulings, the issue will undoubtedly remain a central topic in discussions on equity and educational opportunities.