US Supreme Court strikes down affirmative action in college admissions
Former US president Barack Obama says, "It's time to redouble our efforts"
The United States Supreme Court on Thursday, 29 June, struck down race-based reservation, also known as affirmative action, in universities.
With this, the court overturned the decade-old admissions policy at Harvard and the University of North Carolina, the nation's oldest private and public colleges, respectively.
Hearing a plea filed by Students for Fair Admissions—which has been a vocal critic of the practice—Chief Justice John Roberts said that while the admissions programmes in both universities were "well-intentioned", yet "[race-based] admission programmes must comply with strict scrutiny, may never use race as a stereotype or negative, and must, at some point, end".
Justice Roberts' judgement noted the colleges' admission procedures "fail each of these criteria".
Reacting to it, Former US president Barack Obama said, "It’s time to redouble our efforts".
“Affirmative action was never a complete answer in the drive towards a more just society. But for generations of students who had been systematically excluded from most of America’s key institutions—it gave us the chance to show we more than deserved a seat at the table. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s recent decision, it’s time to redouble our efforts,” Obama wrote on Twitter.
Former US president Donald Trump, who appointed three of the Conservative Supreme Court justices during his time as president, has hailed the decision and called it a "great day for America".
Former First Lady Michelle Obama also issued a statement on Twitter. Quite predictably, her reaction was rather the opposite of Trump's, being rueful and exhorting, 'While I know the strength and grit that lies inside kids who have always had to sweat a little more to climb the same ladders, I hope and I pray that the rest of us are willing to sweat a little too... we've got to do the work not just to enact policies that reflect our values of equity and fairness, but to truly make those values real in all of our schools, workplaces, and neighborhoods.'
At the end of her statement, she shared a list of advocacy organisations working on this cause, should readers wish to support the effort.