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Ray Bogan

Political Correspondent

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Politics

Biden: SCOTUS ‘not a normal court,’ proposes affirmative action alternative

Jun 29, 2023

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Ray Bogan

Political Correspondent

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President Biden said the Supreme Court “is not a normal court” when asked by a reporter if it’s a “rogue court.” The statement came after remarks about the court’s decision to end race-based admissions at colleges and universities around the country. 

During his speech, the president suggested that admissions offices should consider adversity as a factor instead of race to ensure colleges maintain diverse student bodies. 

“Students first have to be qualified applicants. They need the GPA and test scores to meet the school’s standards. Once that test is met, then adversity should be considered, including — including its lack – a student’s lack of financial means, because we know too few students of low-income families, whether in big cities or rural communities, are getting an opportunity to go to college,” President Biden said.

“It also means examining where a student grew up and went to high school. It means understanding particular hardships that each individual student has faced in life, including racial discrimination,” the president added.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote about that in the majority opinion which states, “nothing in this opinion should be construed as prohibiting universities from considering an applicant’s discussion of how race affected his or her life, be it through discrimination, inspiration, or otherwise.”

But the president of the organization that filed the lawsuit that led to this decision said they will be on the lookout for colleges that try to use workarounds to the Supreme Court’s decision. 

“We remain vigilant and intend to initiate litigation should universities defiantly flout this clear ruling and the dictates of Title VI and the equal protection clause,” Edward Blum, Students for Fair Admissions president, said

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor seemed to predict this outcome in 2003 when she wrote the Grutter v. Bollinger decision which found that race-based admissions was constitutional. 

“We expect that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest approved today,” O’Connor wrote.

But in the current decision, Chief Justice Roberts said colleges and universities have not made any meaningful progress toward a color-blind admissions process since that time.

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President Biden said this Supreme Court is not a normal court, when he was asked by a reporter if it’s a rogue court. That statement came after remarks about the Court’s decision to end race based admissions at colleges and universities around the country. 

 

During his speech, the President suggested that admissions offices consider adversity as a factor instead of race to ensure colleges maintain diverse student bodies. 

 

Biden: “When the poor kid and a poor kid may be the first in their family to go to college, gets the same grades and test scores as a wealthy kid. His whole family has gone to the most elite colleges in the country, and its path has been a lot easier, while the kid who faced tougher challenges has demonstrated more grit, more determination,” 

 

The President also said colleges should take into account any racial discrimination an applicant has faced. 

 

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote about that in the majority opinion. It states quote: “nothing in this opinion should be construed as prohibiting universities from considering an applicant’s discussion of how race affected his or her life, be it through discrimination, inspiration, or otherwise.”

 

But the President of the organization that filed the lawsuit that led to this decision says they will be on the lookout for colleges that try to use workarounds to the Supreme Court’s decision. 

 

Edward Blum, Students for Fair Admissions President: “We remain vigilant and intend to initiate litigation should universities defiantly flout this clear ruling and the dictates of Title VI and the equal protection clause.”  

It’s worth noting that Justice Sandra Day O’Connor seemed to predict this outcome in 2003 when she wrote the Grutter v. Bollinger decision which found thbat race-based admissions was constitutional.  O’Connor wrote: We expect that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest approved today. But In the current decision, Chief Justice Roberts said colleges and universities have not made any meaningful progress toward a color blind admissions process since that time.