Wednesday, 07 Dec 2022

Ketanji Brown Jackson grills lawyer in case seeking to end affirmative action

Ketanji Brown Jackson grills lawyer in case seeking to end affirmative action


Ketanji Brown Jackson grills lawyer in case seeking to end affirmative action

The court is hearing two back-to-back cases brought against the University of North Carolina (UNC) and Harvard University by a conservative activist group, Students for Fair Admissions, but has not ruled.

The group aims to block colleges from diversifying their student bodies by taking race into consideration alongside academic achievement and multiple other elements, essentially claiming that such a policy gives an unfair leg-up to African American and Hispanic students, who are underrepresented on campus, and discriminates against white and Asian American students.

With a 6-3 conservative super-majority now on the court, affirmative action is deemed to be in jeopardy.

Jackson has somewhat controversially recused herself from the case being heard second, against Harvard, because she attended it, though other current supreme court justices also attended Harvard but have not recused themselves.

But Jackson spoke out stridently on Monday in the first case, involving UNC at Chapel Hill, when arguments were heard at the supreme court in Washington, where protesters on both sides gathered outside.

On Monday she explained her reasoning to Strawbridge by giving a hypothetical example of two aspiring students applying to UNC.

Strawbridge said the university could take into account factors such as whether a student would be the first generation in their family to attend and whether they may be economically disadvantaged, but he said that race should not be relevant these days.

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