The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to take up two cases challenging college admission policies that consider the race of student applicants, potentially imperiling the divisive programs that have been narrowly upheld for decades.
The lawsuits against Harvard University and the University of North Carolina argue that the admissions policies engage in “racial balancing” and discriminate against Asian-American applicants. Lower courts sided with Harvard and UNC, who argued that including race in the applicant review process is a necessary part of fostering student-body diversity.
The Supreme Court in an order list combined the two cases, which were both brought by the group Students for Fair Admissions, and allotted one hour for oral argument.
The high court’s 6-3 conservative majority could potentially weaken or eliminate the use of race-conscious admissions policies, which in past cases have been upheld mostly by liberal-leaning justices.
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