The Real Damage from Racial Preferences in College Admissions

In 2003, when the Grutter v. Bollinger decision was decided and the Supreme Court approved racial discrimination in admissions under certain narrow circumstances, evidence about the harmful effects of racial preferences wasn’t available. But it is now and as the commissioners pointed out, there is “no empirical research that challenges these findings.” In fact, “the evidence is quite devastating” that the use of race in college admissions causes lasting damage to minority students.

Racial discrimination in college admission is morally wrong and a violation of basic and fundamental principles of equal protection, whether it is in favor of certain students or against other students. The actual harm it causes to its supposed beneficiaries is yet another reason for the Supreme Court to stop such discrimination once and for all.

As Justice Stanley Mosk of the California Supreme Court  warned in 1976 in Bakke v. Regents of the University of California (the California court’s judgment overturning the UC Davis admissions policy was affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court but on narrower grounds), upholding such racial admissions policies “call for the sacrifice of principles for the sake of dubious expediency and would represent a retreat in the struggle to assure that each man and woman shall be judged on the basis of individual merit alone .”

(Thumbnail on PJM homepage assembled using multiple images.)