The court is politically 5-4 lean to the Right….
College affirmative action policies have been in use since the 1960’s in response to Civil Rights pushes for minorities …
They have been under attack more recently…
And now land in the courts lap….
Weither they survive will probably up to Chief Justice Robert’s vote….
As the linked piece below suggests ?
Maybe Justice Kavanaugh?
The court on Monday will be reviewing the admission policies at Harvard and the University of North Carolina, cases brought bylongtime affirmative action opponent Edward Blum and his Students for Fair Admissions. After extensive trials, lower courts found each university complied with the Supreme Court’s precedents about considering race as only one factor in building diverse student bodies.
Given those rulings — and just six years after the Supreme Court approved a similar race-conscious admissions program at the University of Texas — analysts say it is seems likely the right wing of the court accepted the new cases to redefine the law about race, rather than simply to affirm the lower courts.
The Supreme Court “has grappled with this question of affirmative action in higher education and the permissible uses of race for many years, but the court is more conservative now than it has been in any of those decades,” said Washington lawyer Roman Martinez, a frequent Supreme Court practitioner. “If you were just trying to count noses, I think you would think there are more votes to be skeptical of these programs now than ever before.”
Opponents on the court are sure to be led by Thomas, who was a dissenter in 2003 when the court upheld the limited use of race in Grutter v. Bollinger. In that opinion, O’Connor agreed with the University of Michigan Law School that its admission policies reflected a compelling interest in ensuring a “critical mass” of minority students. The Constitution “does not prohibit the law school’s narrowly tailored use of race in admissions decisions to further a compelling interest in obtaining the educational benefits that flow from a diverse student body,” she wrote….
Kavanaugh, who joined the court in 2018, has been in the majority of opinions more than any other justice over the past two terms. His cases as an advocate and decisions as an appeals court judge suggest an aversion to racial classifications.
But, even when approving a South Carolina voter ID law that challengers said would have a disproportionate effect on Black voters, Kavanaugh wrote that “the long march for equality for African-Americans is not finished.”
In addition, Kavanaugh has placed an importance on hiring minorities, who are underrepresented among law clerks on the prestigious federal appeals courts. During his time on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, 13 of the 48 clerks he hired were minorities. Nine of them went on to clerk at the Supreme Court, according to statistics compiled by his former clerks.
Only three of his 20 clerks at the Supreme Court have been White men.
Justin Driver, a constitutional law professor at Yale who was a law clerk to O’Connor and Breyer, said the court has upheld race-conscious policies in the past through “gritted teeth.”
“Affirmative action has repeatedly been left for dead and a series of rather improbable Republican-appointed justices have preserved it,” he said. “We will see whether history repeats itself.”….