Does It Matter if Our Universities Look Like America?
Writing for the majority in the 2003 Supreme Court decision Grutter v. Bollinger, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor looked back at precedent: “It has been 25 years since Justice Powell first approved the use of race to further an interest in student body diversity in the context of public higher education.” She was referring to Justice Lewis F. Powell’s 1978 decision in Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, which first deemed race-conscious admissions policies constitutional. Justice O’Connor’s 2003 opinion recognized student-body diversity as a compelling state interest, and affirmed that race-conscious admissions decisions were acceptable. But she hoped they wouldn’t continue indefinitely, adding, “We expect that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest approved today.”
Originally published: October 31, 2022
Author: Marvin Krislov
Institution: Pace University
Published by: The Chronicle of Higher Ed