The U.S. Supreme Court struck down affirmative action in college programs that rejected Asian students in favor of non-white students.
The landmark 6-3 SCOTUS ruling ends the longstanding race-based admissions process at all public colleges and private schools.
The Supreme Court ruled that the University of North Carolina and Harvard violated the Constitution by rejecting Asian students who were sometimes more academically qualified than non-white students.
Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson called the ruling “A tragedy for us all.”
Former President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama rebuked the Supreme Court’s decision.
Mrs. Obama said affirmative action affected her life. She said she sometimes wondered if other students at Princeton assumed she was there because of affirmative action policies.
But over time, she said, she and other Black students proved that they belonged at an elite university.
“So today, my heart breaks for any young person out there who’s wondering what their future holds — and what kinds of chances will be open to them,” she wrote in a statement.
While affirmative action “wasn’t perfect,” she wrote, it helped provide “new ladders of opportunity for those who, throughout our history, have too often been denied a chance to show how fast they can climb.”
Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the majority that universities can still consider race in a student’s admission in the context of a “discussion of how race affected his or her life, be it through discrimination, inspiration, or otherwise.”