Former President Donald Trump has lauded a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday to strike down race-based affirmative action in college and university admissions across the country, saying “We’re going back to all merit-based — and that’s the way it should be!”
Posting on Truth Social, the former president responded just hours after the court’s expected decision which saw its six conservative justices side together while its three liberal justices joined together in dissent. The ruling has ended a policy on college campuses that has been in place for a half-century following the civil rights marches of the 1960s and the court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision which declared that “separate but equal” policies of the past were not living up to their promise for Black Americans in the wake of the Jim Crow era.
“This is a great day for America,” wrote Trump. “People with extraordinary ability and everything else necessary for success, including future greatness for our Country, are finally being rewarded.”
Donald Trump reacts to the Affirmative Action SCOTUS decision pic.twitter.com/vpaQVKaAFA
— ALX 🇺🇸 (@alx) June 29, 2023
The ruling represents another major win for Trump and his legacy after having successfully tilted the court to the conservative side with three justices during his one term.
For decades, conservatives and their disciples on the Supreme Court, led by Justice Clarence Thomas, have cast race-based affirmative action as a policy that disenfranchised high-achieving students in favor of select minority groups such as African-Americans. In recent years, Asian students and families had brought legal challenges against Harvard and other Ivy League institutions, alleging they were denied acceptance under an affirmative action policy that capped the number of Asian students on campus. Their positions were vindicated in Thursday’s ruling.
In his concurring opinion, Justice Thomas excoriated his newest colleague, liberal Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, for promoting a “race-based world view” in her dissent that he said is endemic by liberals who wish to see equal outcomes encouraged based on race and skin color. Doing so, he wrote, would be a disservice to the young men and women who achieved against all odds and are deserving of consideration by the nation’s top colleges and universities regardless of their race or ethnicity.
“Individuals are the sum of their unique experiences, challenges, and accomplishments. What matters is not the barriers they face, but how they choose to confront them,” Thomas writes.
While recognizing the “social and economic ravages” that hindered black Americans in the past, Thomas shared his hope that the country will “live up to its principles” of real, colorblind equality in the wake of the ruling.