Brandeis University President Discusses Affirmative Action Ruling

April 23, 2014

Universities around the country are closely looking at Tuesday's Supreme Court ruling on affirmative action and what impact it might have on racial preferences that have been a staple of admissions policies for decades. 

For the past decade, the University of Michigan has been ground zero in the debate over the use of race in college admissions. In 2003, the Supreme Court ruled against racial quotas used in the university’s undergraduate admissions but upheld the law school’s more limited use of race among many factors to ensure academic diversity. That led Michigan voters to pass an outright ban on racial preferences, and on April 22, the Supreme Court upheld that ban.

Now that it’s permissible for states to eliminate affirmative action, critics expect more states to do just that.


  • Frederick M. Lawrence is the president of Brandeis University, an attorney and a civil rights scholar. He is also on WGBH's board of trustees.

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