This article was published today by the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal. To read the full article click here.
The university’s admissions processes must comply with the Constitution.
by Walter L. Smith
The University of Virginia is facing a choice of historic significance: namely, whether to embrace admissions policies based on our colorblind Constitution or to engage in mass resistance to the supreme law of the land.
In Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard and UNC, the United States Supreme Court held that the admissions programs at Harvard and UNC violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court’s ruling is, of course, binding on the parties themselves. However, this was no narrow decision. The broad constitutional mandate of colorblindness underlying the majority opinion is applicable to the University of Virginia, as well.
On August 1, 2023, in response to the landmark decision, university leaders issued a statement outlining the institution’s new admissions procedures. “The Court has made it clear,” the statement read in part, “that colleges and universities may not consider race, for its own sake, in their admission decisions. […] We will follow the law.”
However, the statement went on: “We also will do everything within our legal authority to recruit and admit a class of students who are diverse across every possible dimension and to make every student feel welcome and included here at UVA.” Continue reading.