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Affirmative action in higher education could fall

Creighton Campus Life
Posted at 6:43 AM, Nov 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-02 07:43:44-04

The Supreme Court is considering two cases that could determine how college admissions are handled.

“We would like to be on an equal plane, but we still got a long way before we can get there," said Nicholas Adame, President of LULAC Council 1 in Corpus Christi.

Decades of legal precedent for affirmative action in higher education could fall, potentially reducing the number of Black and LatinX students at schools.

"I've heard the word diversity. I don't have a clue what it means," said Conservative Justice Clarence Thomas.

At the High Court on Monday, the three liberal justices defended affirmative action for making institutions look more like America during five hours of arguments.

"Race alone doesn’t count for why someone is admitted," said Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Adame said diversity and inclusion have always been an issue in higher education.

“The importance is you know, are we being discriminated back then because of our of what group we represented or what group we are from," said Adame.

The conservative group behind these cases argues using race in admissions discriminates against other students, namely Asian Americans, and violates federal law and the constitution's equal protection clause.

“The affirmative action plan was put there and implemented for a reason. And I think it’s important for all students to have that equal opportunity," said Adame.

Around the country, nine states have already ended affirmative action for school admissions. Texas is not one of those states, so a ruling from the high court would impact college admissions in the state.

The Texas Tribune reports Attorney General Ken Paxton as well as Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz are asking the court to the practice. Meanwhile, three Texas democratic representatives, Joaquin Castro, Sylvia Garcia and Marc Veasey, said they support keeping it.

Opponents of affirmative action say there are other race-neutral ways to get diversity, like focusing more on socioeconomic factors. And that was the focus of several conservative justices - who seemed to suggest the clock on affirmative action is ticking.

We did reach out to TAMUCC for a statement, and the school says it will not comment on the case at this time.

It's not known when the court will make its final ruling.