Supreme Court raises bar for affirmative action in college admissions

Matt Zalaznick's picture
Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Supreme Court on Monday allowed affirmative action to survive in college admissions but imposed a tough legal standard, ruling that schools must prove there are “no workable race-neutral alternatives” to achieve diversity on campus.

While the ruling was not a sweeping pronouncement on the future of affirmative action, it amounts to a warning to colleges nationwide that the courts will treat race-conscious admissions policies with a high degree of skepticism.

By a 7-1 vote, with one justice recusing herself, the court sent a case about the University of Texas admissions policy back to a federal appeals court for review, and directed the appeals court to apply an exacting legal standard known as strict scrutiny.

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