Ending of Affirmative action:-
“It’s true that the recent Supreme Court ruling invalidating affirmative action programs. At Harvard and UNC-Chapel Hill could be seen as the culmination of a long journey. For decades, a Republican-appointed majority in the court has gradually eroded the legality of using race in allocating state benefits. Back in the Reagan era, John Roberts. A young lawyer in the White House, openly criticized state affirmative action measures. Now, with the court’s evolving composition, what was once deemed ‘objectionable’ has become ‘unconstitutional.’
However, this decision might not mark the end, but rather the beginning of a new chapter in the ongoing struggle over race in America. The conservative majority on the Supreme Court could build upon this ruling to further undermine government. And corporate initiatives aimed at addressing specific harms faced by racial and ethnic minorities.
Fight for equality
There are two significant ways in which this decision might signify a new chapter for the court. Beside of it firstly, it could push the law towards a more conservative direction. Secondly, and perhaps even more consequential than last year’s Roe v. Wade decision. It could have destabilizing legal and political implications.
The first potential development, which is highly likely, involves invalidating ‘disparate impact’ rules. Disparate impact laws recognize that discriminatory actions might not overtly reveal racist motives and can perpetuate past racial disadvantages. These laws allow individuals to prove discrimination by pointing to unexplained racial disparities. However, conservative justices have long targeted disparate impact. And the recent ruling against race-based college admissions strengthens their position. Any discussion of ‘racially disparate impact’ inevitably involves race itself.
New beginning for America
Disparate impact provisions exist in both state and federal laws. For example, the Housing and Urban Development Department reinstated a disparate impact housing rule earlier this year. Federal employment statutes also include language prohibiting disparate impacts. Although their effectiveness is subject to debate. States like Illinois and California have broad prohibitions against disparate impact in their laws.
If all these provisions are discarded. It would make the law less favorable for those facing discrimination from individuals who are careful not to openly display their unlawful motives. Paradoxically, the Supreme Court’s pursuit of race-blindness might facilitate discrimination by others. It contradicts Roberts’ simplistic adage that ‘the way to stop discriminating on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.’
The rightward shift in federal courts has already posed challenges for non-white discrimination plaintiffs. However, the second potential development could have even more far-reaching & disruptive consequences.
Consider a case in Virginia concerning admissions processes at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. The lawsuit alleges that the school engaged in ‘impermissible racial balancing’ to create an integrated class. Even without using explicit race-conscious rules. This approach challenges government actions not because they explicitly mention race. But because they aim to address harms experienced by specific racial groups.
No more discrimination on color
While there are technical reasons why the law doesn’t support this claim. The fact that three conservative justices voted in favor of a stay in the Thomas Jefferson case indicates some support for this approach.
A ruling that essentially rejects the concept of ‘racial justice’ would have widespread implications. It could cast doubt on many state and federal statutes enacted to address burdens that disproportionately affect minority groups. For instance, laws that protect minority voters might face scrutiny from a court that is frequently hostile to their rights.
Moreover, there are numerous policy issues that disproportionately affect racial minorities. Take, for instance, the alarming racial gap in maternal mortality. A 2021 report by the National Institutes for Health