While the landmark case, Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College, made clear that it is a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment to discriminate on the basis of race in college admissions, the Biden administration’s Department of Education (ED) continues to issue recommendations that encourage racially-motivated admissions practices.
To fight back, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) is leading the charge to ensure the Supreme Court’s decision is faithfully and accurately implemented and reflected by colleges and universities across the country. She was joined in a letter to ED Secretary Miguel Cardona by Sens. Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Braun (R-Ind.), Britt (R-Ala.), Marshall (R-Kans.), Schmitt (R-Mo.), Scott (R-Fla.), Tillis (R-N.C.), Vance (R-Ohio), and Wicker (R-Miss.).
In the letter, the Senators wrote: “…your expressions of tacit support for affirmative action raise concerns regarding the extent to which the Department of Education (ED), as well as American colleges and universities, will uphold the Supreme Court’s ruling of their own accord.
“The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land and Students for Fair Admissions has made clear there must be strict limits to any consideration of race in college admissions. The importance of the ED Office for Civil Rights (OCR) faithfully implementing this landmark decision cannot be understated.
“No policies derived from a racially motivated worldview benefit our democracy, our society, or our young college hopefuls. Each applicant deserves an equal chance to be admitted, regardless of their race. It is concerning to see your Department produce guidance to the contrary.
“We call upon the Biden administration to embrace the full essence of the Court’s holdings in both Students for Fair Admissions and Brown v. Board of Education: neither de facto nor de jure racial discrimination have any place in schooling. The American people deserve no less than an Executive Branch committed to enforcing the law equally to all people without concern for their race.”
To monitor these reforms, the senators are demanding:
- A detailed plan for monitoring the admissions practices of higher education institutions to ensure compliance with the Supreme Court’s ruling, including the establishment of a website for the public to report noncompliance;
- An advance copy of any new guidance the ED Office for Civil Rights develops; and,
- The number of employees and contractors ED plans to task with oversight and enforcement of the law.
Read the full letter here.