U.S. Supreme Court Invalidates Race-Conscious Admissions: Key Considerations for Postsecondary Institutions, Employers and Others

On June 29, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College, and Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. University of North Carolina et al., holding that race-conscious admissions programs used by Harvard College and the University of North Carolina are constitutionally impermissible. Both public colleges and universities, and private institutions receiving federal funds, are prohibited from considering race in admissions decisions. As a result of the decision, institutions may also need to evaluate other areas in which educational services or benefits potentially take race into account, including but not limited to the provision of scholarships or grants. There may also be significant implications for employers’ voluntary affirmative action and DEI programs, as well as potential implications for mandatory affirmative action for government contractors, as a result of the decision.

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