Presiding bishop responds to Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision to reject college admissions’ affirmative action programs

By ENS staff
Posted Jun 30, 2023

[Episcopal News Service] The U.S. Supreme Court in a 6-3 vote ruled race-conscious admissions programs at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina unconstitutional. The ruling, which was released June 29, could reshape college admissions policies nationwide.

“In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision on affirmative action in college admissions, I am saddened for all who will be negatively impacted, and I am mindful that we must continue to root out white supremacy and systemic racism,” Presiding Bishop Michael Curry said in a June 30 statement.

“Our mandate as followers of Jesus is clear: to create the Beloved Community by facing painful truths from our past, learning from them, and then turning and joining hands together to right wrongs and foster justice and healing. In so doing, we can be and build that community and world where there is truly liberty and justice for all. This is the work of love.”

In college and university settings, affirmative action typically refers to admissions policies aimed at increasing the number of Black, Latino and other minority students on campus.

Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said the universities’ programs “unavoidably employ race in a negative manner” and “involve racial stereotyping,” in a manner that violates the Constitution.

In her written dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote: “The court subverts the constitutional guarantee of equal protection by further entrenching racial inequality in education, the very foundation of our democratic government and pluralistic society.”