Harvard’s got its friends. So, too, does UNC. Today, the American Council on Education, a group representing presidents of universities across America, headlined 40 education groups that submitted a friend-of-the-court brief to our nation’s highest court. Unsurprisingly, this group argued for the Supreme Court to uphold the legality of Affirmative Action. Of course, those behind the friend-of-the-court brief have a vested interest in upholding race-conscious admissions for it’s not just Harvard and UNC that consider race in the admissions process. Race is a factor in the American college admissions process at just about every university from sea to shining sea — unless it’s already been outlawed, like at the University of California schools.
As Nick Anderson reports for The Washington Post in a piece entitled “Using race in college admissions protected by First Amendment, groups say,” “‘A rule that prohibits race and ethnicity from being considered would ultimately chill prospective students from discussing their racial or ethnic identity or relying on recommendations that carry a racial or ethnic valence: leadership in an [African Methodist Episcopal] church choir, work for a Black-owned business, or receipt of a scholarship or internship designed to increase minority representation in particular industries or fields of study,’ the education groups argued. ‘But all applicants should be allowed and encouraged to talk about their life experiences and how they might contribute to an institution’s educational environment or community commitments.'”
For many years, the American Council on Education has urged our nation’s courts to essentially mind its own business and let our country’s public and private universities decide — on their own — whether race should be a factor in the admissions process. Today’s friend-of-the-court brief is consistent with their long-held position. Stay tuned for further updates on the college admissions case of all cases that will be debated by America’s Supreme Court this fall.
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