CA Latino Caucus Denounces Supreme Court Rulings Dismantling Affirmative Action

June 29, 2023

SACRAMENTO - Today, the California Latino Legislative Caucus (CLLC) issued a statement on the decisions rendered by the Supreme Court of the United States in Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina, which overturn the Court’s long-standing precedent supporting affirmative action in admissions at institutions of higher education:

“These rulings handed down by a right-wing, activist majority of the Supreme Court dismantle more than forty years of precedent and progress in creating college campuses that better reflect the diversity of our country. Make no mistake: With these decisions, the Supreme Court is intentionally inflicting harm on Latino communities across our country.

“The personal beliefs of six justices should not undermine our common goal of making higher education available to all Americans, especially students from historically disenfranchised communities. These decisions will make it harder for our colleges and universities to address systemic inequalities and foster diversity in their student bodies.

“We know that one of the best steps for students to achieve prosperity is to attain a college degree. That is why we are concerned that these rulings will have detrimental impacts on students from Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities who remain underrepresented or have even been historically excluded from the halls of higher education. This signal sent by these rulings will also harm these students who are able to gain admission to the schools of their dreams, but might question whether or not they actually belong.

“With the passage of Proposition 209 in 1996, California saw Black and Latino admissions drop by half at some of our state’s top universities. As a result of Proposition 209, California has learned the hard way that, as Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson wrote in her dissent, ‘Deeming race irrelevant in law does not make it so in life.’ With these decisions, these six justices have erected new, nationwide barriers that will likely produce similarly destructive results, preventing millions of BIPOC students across America from achieving their college dreams.

“While these decisions deal a devastating blow to our nation’s higher education system, the CLLC remains steadfast in our commitment to fighting for justice and equitable representation, closing racial and ethnic gaps in higher education, and supporting policies that level the playing field for BIPOC communities, including Latinos.”