Not a Good Day at the Supreme Court for Affirmative Action – Watch

It was not a good day for Affirmative Action as they faced the Supreme Court. Oral arguments were heard in two cases surrounding admissions at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

The organization “Students for Fair Admissions” accused the schools of discriminating against Asian applicants. 

In the case, Justice Clarence Thomas asked defenders of affirmative action admissions policies how diversity benefits higher education. 

He asked North Carolina Solicitor General Ryan Park, who is defending the race-based affirmative action program, for a “clear idea of what the education benefits of diversity at the University of North Carolina would be.”

“I’ve heard the word ‘diversity’ quite a few times, and I don’t have a clue what it means. It seems to mean, ‘everything for everyone,’” Thomas said. “I’d like you to give us a specific definition of diversity in the context of the University of North Carolina.”

“We define diversity the way this court has and this court’s precedents, which means a broadly diverse set of criteria that expands to all different backgrounds and perspectives and not solely limited to race,” Park said. And then he added, “many different diversity factors that are considered as a greater factor in our admissions process than race.”

Judge Thomas said that he heard the word diversity a few times and he doesn’t have a clue what it means in this context. He asked for a “specific definition” of diversity and its benefits.

“I didn’t go to racially diverse schools, but there were educational benefits, and I’d like you to tell me expressly when a parent sends a kid to college that they don’t necessarily send them there to have fun or feel good or anything like that,” Thomas pressed. “They send them there to learn physics or chemistry or whatever their study. So tell me what the educational benefits are.”

The bottom line is that Judge Thomas said regarding Park’s claim, “I don’t put much stock in that because I’ve heard similar arguments in favor of segregation, too,” Thomas responded.