SCOTUS got it wrong: Siena prof

LOUDONVILLE – Depending on who you ask, Thursday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that affirmative action programs are unconstitutional was either a “deeply misguided decision” or else a “major victory for the American Dream.”

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You’d be hard pressed to find any prominent conservatives who aren’t taking a victory lap over the SCOTUS decision.

Those on the left side of the political spectrum see it as a major setback for the country.

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By striking down affirmative action programs at North Carolina and Harvard, the High Court has said those colleges – and all others – may not consider race in determining who gets into their school.

The court effectively overturned a 2003 decision that said race could be considered a factor in the admissions process because there was a compelling interest in maintaining diversity on campus.

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Many individuals who have skin in the game, none of whom were surprised by the decision, believe there will be a noticeable and immediate impact.

“We are going to see a lot of students of color disappear from college campuses,” predicted Dr. Hope Rias, a history professor at Siena College. “One of the only reasons that colleges actually admitted students of color was because they had to follow the law and the law said that you couldn’t discriminate, and affirmative action was passed for that reason. So I think colleges are going to change racially very quickly.”

“There’s a clear pattern,” said Art Chang, board chair for the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families (CACF). “They don’t necessarily have to be racists by their words. They don’t have to be racists by their legal actions, but they are clearly not doing things that benefit all the people and furthering an America that stands for all of us.”

Others weighing in on the court’s decision included Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik and Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

“This is a major victory for the American Dream and all students,” said Stefanik in a news release. “Today’s Supreme Court decision correctly rules that in the United States of America, every individual has the opportunity to succeed, regardless of background or race.”

“Yet again, this right-wing Supreme Court has overturned decades of precedent in pursuit of its political agenda,” wrote Gillibrand in a news release, “This misguided ruling will deeply harm efforts to increase diversity in our schools and to create a more equal society — going forward, students of color will face greater obstacles in pursuing higher education and the opportunities that come with it.”