Via the New York Times:
The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a challenge to a race-conscious admissions program at the University of Texas at Austin, handing supporters of affirmative action a major victory.
The vote was 4-3. Only seven justices participated in the decision, as Justice Elena Kagan had recused herself for prior work on the case as United States solicitor general and the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat remains vacant.
The case concerned the University of Texas’ idiosyncratic admissions program. Most applicants from within the state are admitted under a part of the program that guarantees admission to top students in every high school in the state. (This is often called the Top 10 Percent program, though the percentage cutoff can vary by year.)
The Top 10 Percent program has produced significant racial and ethnic diversity. In 2011, for instance, 26 percent of freshmen who enrolled under the program were Hispanic, and 6 percent were black. Texas is about 38 percent Hispanic and 12 percent black.
The case challenged a second part of the admissions program. Under it, remaining students from Texas and elsewhere are considered under standards that take into account academic achievement and other factors, including race and ethnicity. Many colleges and universities base all of their admissions decisions on such holistic grounds.
The astonishing thing about this decision is that it affirms the ability of a university to pick applicants based on skin color (or, in the case of Asian students, reject them) for the sake of “diversity” even when “diversity” has been achieved by other means, such as Texas’ Top 10 Percent program. This is nothing more or less that the codifying of a race-based spoils system in perpetuity. It was event admitted by Ruth Bader Ginsburg during oral arguments.
We’d better get used to this. Unless Trump is booted at the convention we’ve lost the Supreme Court for a couple of generations.