Law and diversity experts react to Supreme Court's affirmative action decision

Law and diversity experts react to Supreme Court's affirmative action decision

June 29, 20232 min read

The U.S. Supreme Court has struck down affirmative action in institutes of higher education. The Court ruled 6-3 that admissions programs at Harvard University and University of North Carolina violated the 14th Amendment.

“The Court showed a deep suspicion of what universities have been doing as far as maintaining levels of racial diversity,” said Stephen Griffin, constitutional law professor at Tulane University. “This, in effect, accuses universities of maintaining implicit racial quotas and perpetuating harmful racial stereotypes.”

Griffin noted that the decision “terminated the standard way colleges and universities have been trying to achieve racial diversity” and did so “without overturning any prior precedents.”

“The structure of the Court’s decision will make it impossible going forward for institutions of higher education to pursue global policies that maintain current levels of racial diversity on college campuses,” Griffin said. “If such policies exist in the future, they will have to be targeted to helping specific individuals with specific histories.”

While decisions about how affirmative action are applied to workplaces are left for the future, Andrea Boyles, the Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity & Belonging at Tulane University’s School of Liberal Arts, said this case sets a precedent regarding employment opportunities for minority citizens.

“As a Black sociologist, SCOTUS' rejection of affirmative action in college admissions is devastating,” Boyles said. “This decision eliminates checks and systemic obligations for ensuring quality, racially integrated educational opportunities for Black and other racially minoritized people at educational institutions.”

Still, Boyles said she anticipates that the decision will not be accepted lightly.

“As an expert on Black resistance, history reveals that the Black community will neither accept such a decision nor tire from challenging it and others like it that appear to deliberately undermine their racial equity generally, and rightful humanity widely,” Boyles said.

For media interviews, Stephen Griffin can be reached at Andrea Boyles can be reached at For any other assistance, please contact Tulane assistant director of media relations Andrew Yawn at

Spotlight By Tulane University

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