Affirmative Action: What If the Supreme Court Ends It

Corporations struggling to develop a qualified pipeline of Black and Latino talent soon may face additional challenges in reaching their diversity and recruitment goals. It all depends on how the Supreme Court rules in the Fisher v. University of Texas case.


The lawsuit before the court on Wednesday could result in the reversal of the college’s affirmative-action admissions policiesand potentially deem all instances of race-based criterion in higher-education admissions “unconstitutional.” This would overturn the landmark Grutter v. Bollingerdecision in 2003, which upheld the use of race as one of multiple factors when determining acceptance.

If Fisher Wins & Affirmative Action Ends

Educational and civic leaders are “very concerned that a [negative] decision will impact any and all incoming students from high school or transfers,” said Ben Reese, president of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE). “We are looking for an admissions system that is inclusive of all the qualities that students bring, including race, not stunting the growth of community colleges and four-year schools and building an appropriate workforce.”

Collateral consequences of a Fisher win would be a narrowing of Black and Latino admissions to four-year colleges only, which would limit community-college transfers and increase pressure on smaller, two-year schools that already are strained and turning students away because of limited budgets, according to executives representing nine higher education associations.

These include: The American Association for Affirmative Action, American Council on Education, American Indian Higher Education Consortium, Association of American Medical Colleges, College and University Professional Association for Human Resources, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education, National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education and NADOHE.

“Too much is at stake. We need to build truly inclusive learning environments and can’t afford to go backward at this point,” they said.

The Case

Abigail Fisher, a white high-school student, filed the lawsuit in 2008 after she was denied admission to the University of Texas at Austin, which she claims was unequal treatment because of reverse discrimination and, therefore, a violation of the14th Amendment. Project on Fair Representation, a legal-defense foundation, is representing Fisher. Watch this organization’s video on the case below.

Learn more about the case and affirmative action by watching the video above, then read these articles:

Is Affirmative Action Over

Affirmative Action Foe Ward Connerly Comments at the DiversityInc Conference

Why We Still Need Affirmative Action

Talent Development Creates Ability for INROADS Students to Succeed

Corporate Diversity: Outreach With Rutgers Future Scholars Enhances Talent Pipelines

Latest News

Toyota Earns the Most R&D Patents Among Automakers in IPO Rankings for 8th Consecutive Year

Originally published at pressroom.toyota.com. Toyota ranked No. 7 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   The United States Patent and Trademark Office awarded Toyota more patents than any other automaker in 2021, according to an annual ranking by the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO). Toyota’s engineers…

Wells Fargo Announces New Initiative To Help Customers Avoid Overdraft Fees and Meet Short-Term Cash Needs

Originally published at newsroom.wf.com. Wells Fargo ranked No. 25 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   Wells Fargo announced new efforts to limit overdraft-related fees and give customers more flexible options to meet their personal financial needs. These offerings, which include earlier access to direct deposits,…

multi race business woman

New Report Shows Significant Increase in Female and Black Representation in the Executive Boardroom

Diversity and inclusion appear to be successfully increasing among America’s largest and most successful companies. The finding comes from a new report conducted by executive recruiting firm Crist Kolder Associates as part of its review of DEI representation in executive offices. Ariel Zilber of the New York Post reported that…

Taco Bell

Taco Bell Creates Business School To Help Underrepresented Groups Become Franchise Owners

Taco Bell and the popular fast-food chain’s owner Yum! Brands have entered the DEI arena with a new business school designed to help people of all backgrounds — and people of color in particular — advance into restaurant ownership. Jonathan Maze of Restaurant Business reported that “a select group of…

LGBTQ dog tags

US Government Will Now Allow Veterans To Identify As Trans on Veteran Affairs Medical Records

In another giant leap forward for LGBTQ+ rights and equality in the military, the federal government has announced that military veterans can now officially identify as trans in their official medical records. Brody Levesque of the Los Angeles Blade reported that Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough has confirmed that veterans…