What happens if the Supreme Court guts affirmative action?

The sharpest opinions on the debate from around the web

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The Supreme Court on Monday heard arguments on whether colleges and universities can continue to consider race when they decide what applicants to admit. Edward Blum, president of Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA), led the challenges, saying Harvard's admissions policy discriminates against Asian Americans, and UNC's gives Black and Hispanic applicants unfair advantages. Chief Justice John Roberts, long skeptical about affirmative action, and other members of the newly strengthened 6-3 conservative majority appeared open to ending the policies, questioning whether letting colleges consider race is legal and constitutional.

Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar argued that overturning court precedents allowing schools to view race as one factor in admissions decisions would have "profound consequences" on "the nation that we are and the nation that we aspire to be," and make it harder to educate diverse new national leaders. Liberal justices defended affirmative-action policies, noting the benefits of diversity on college campuses and the importance of countering historic discrimination. The court is expected to rule next June. What will happen if the Supreme Court strikes down affirmative action in college admissions?

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Harold Maass, The Week US

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at The Week. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 debut of the U.S. print edition and served as editor of TheWeek.com when it launched in 2008. Harold started his career as a newspaper reporter in South Florida and Haiti. He has previously worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, ABC News and Fox News, and for several years wrote a daily roundup of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance.