WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled today to reject the constitutionality of affirmative action in two cases brought by the deceptively named Students for Fair Admissions against Harvard University and the University of North Carolina. Jody Rabhan, National Council of Jewish Women chief policy officer, released the following statement:
“National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) was troubled when the Supreme Court decided to revisit affirmative action in two cases brought by the deceptively named Students for Fair Admissions, fearing a decision like the one released today. Affirmative action has opened the doors of educational opportunity to diverse groups of qualified students and has been an extremely successful racial justice strategy.
“For nearly 50 years, many institutions of higher education have worked to balance Supreme Court decisions on this issue with the goal of achieving racial and ethnic diversity. NCJW has long supported equal opportunity for all in education, as well as other areas, through programs and policies such as affirmative action — a critical tool for achieving racial equity. In both the Harvard and UNC cases, alarmingly, the Supreme Court ruled that the affirmative action programs violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution. Make no mistake, these decisions strike a blow to racial equality in higher education, the effects of which will be felt by all students regardless of their race.
“We urge all institutions of higher education to continue to seek ways to achieve diversity because the quality of education for all students is at stake. We call upon the Biden Administration to issue an Executive Order reiterating its support for racial equity in higher education, requesting federal agencies issue implementation guidance, and directing agencies to step up enforcement of non-discrimination laws in higher education. The decisions in these cases are a disturbing step backward on the road to true racial equality and equity — the guiding star NCJW advocates will continue to fight for in state houses and in Congress.”