New Jersey Reacts to SCOTUS’ Decision to Kill Affirmative Action


Newark Mayor Ras Baraka led the way today in response to the United States Supreme Court’s historic decision declaring colleges and universities no longer able to take race into consideration as a specific basis for granting admission.

“The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision this morning to strike down affirmative action in Harvard and University of North Carolina admissions is an alarming indication of a rolling back of decades of progress toward inclusion and equality for Americans of color,” said Baraka. “For centuries – people of color have been denied access to institutions of higher learning because of racism and systemic bias. Affirmative action programs have provided many economically disadvantaged youth with pathways to the advanced degrees they require to achieve personal success and independence.

“Moreover, this decision will lay the groundwork for this court to eliminate affirmative action in corporate hiring processes, further hindering social justice and our trajectory toward realizing American ideals. Instead of moving backwards, the nation should be moving forward, as we are in Newark, where we care for and support diversity. I call upon our federal legislators to enshrine affirmative action as law to counteract this decision.”


Governor Phil Murphy also weighed in, condemning the decision and reaffirming his Administration’s commitment to promoting diversity and equity in New Jersey.“The Supreme Court’s decision prevents institutions of higher education from considering a student’s race as a factor in its holistic review of each applicant for admissions – an approach the Court has long considered permissible and that has helped students of color overcome barriers to higher education and career paths that require a college or advanced degree. “Sadly, this decision is yet another way in which the U.S. Supreme Court is taking our country backwards.“Systemic inequities remain stubbornly rooted in our society, yet a college degree has long offered a path to opportunity and financial success. For generations, equitable access to higher education has meant social mobility for those who come from under-resourced communities. That too has been the heart of the American Dream – that if you work hard, you can achieve your dreams. But today’s decision will make it harder for many institutions to implement admissions policies that promote equitable access to education and that result in a student body whose members can learn from each other’s diverse backgrounds and perspectives.“The Supreme Court’s extreme stance does not reflect the values of New Jersey. My Administration remains committed to advancing equity in every area of our society and will be working with our partners in higher education to determine ways to promote equitable admissions within the constraints of this ruling.”



U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) issued the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision in Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College:

“Striking down affirmative action in U.S. colleges and universities turns back the clock on progress, full stop. With a partisan decision to overturn more than five decades of legal precedent, six right-wing justices erected a roadblock in our nation’s painstaking march toward racial justice and inclusion. Affirmative action has allowed Americans of all races to pursue their passions and contribute to our society, and as evidenced by Justice Sotomayor in her powerful dissent — “Equal educational opportunity is a prerequisite to achieving racial equality in our Nation.” By effectively stripping away one of the most important tools we have had to achieve some measure of equal educational opportunity, this Court has undermined and eroded the American promise of equal opportunity itself.

“We will never let a single, misguided decision halt our march toward a more equal and inclusive society. Diversity everywhere, from institutions of higher learning and corporate boardrooms to our justice system and the halls of power, is the source of America’s unmatched strength. This fact cannot be deterred or erased, even by some on the highest court in the land. And in the face of opposition, we will redouble our efforts to ensure that all institutions reflect the rich diversity of America.”



Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision today to reject affirmative action in college admission standards.  The Court issued two rulings in related cases, Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard College and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina, that said affirmative action programs in college admissions processes violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  But today’s decisions oppose decades of court rulings that stated schools could use race as a factor in student admissions to counter historical racism in educational opportunities and promote a more diverse college environment.

“I am furious that the Supreme Court has rejected a successful policy that has helped millions of Black and other minority students receive the quality education they deserve,” said Payne.  “Studies have shown that minority admissions to colleges and universities increased dramatically with affirmative action and these students do just as well, if not better, than their white peers when they graduate.  The court said race-related admissions standards violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution.  But where was that equal protection during slavery and Jim Crow?  Where is that equal protection now in housing, workforce hiring, and voting rights?  Conservative justices and politicians want to pretend that our country has no racial issues.  They are not connected to reality.  This decision is yet another roadblock to success for Black Americans in this country.  I will continue to fight for racial justice and equality for ALL Americans.”

U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-9) this morning likewise criticized the U.S. Supreme Court’s


“narrowminded ending” of affirmative action in college admissions, ending decades of positive precedent and practices.

“Today’s decision by this right-wing Supreme Court wipes away decades of legal precedent that have had a net positive impact on America and on the lives of generations of brilliant students,” said Pascrell. “Whether we like it or not, racism and bigotry remain endemic across sectors of American. Affirmative action is a small and an imperfect tool to fixing these inequities. Its abolition today will bring harm on countless bright young students who have striven so hard and will now find it yet harder still to find life success.

“Once again, this partisan, unelected court is enacting by fiat far-right policies Republicans have been unable or too scared to enact at the ballot box. These judges can wave this misguided decision like a magic wand and pronounce that America is now a colorblind society. But it is not so, and they know it.”

In a tweet, U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) wrote, “The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down affirmative action is a devastating blow to our education system across the country. Affirmative action has been a tool to break down systemic barriers and we must continue to advance our ideals of inclusivity & opportunity for all.”

State Senate President Steve Sweeney called for the governor’s chief counsel Matt Platkin to resign over the mishandling of sexual assault charges brought by Katie Brennan against Al Alvarez, another state worker, according to a Press of Atlantic City story.

Attorney General Matt Platkin offered the following:

“Justice Jackson is right: with ‘let-them-eat-cake obliviousness,’ the Supreme Court has ignored the institutional racism that millions of Americans continue to endure. Racism will not end because Chief Justice Roberts and five of his colleagues deemed it so. Everyone deserves to benefit from the same diverse university environment that I experienced. Today’s reactionary decision from SCOTUS takes us backwards again, and makes us a less fair, equitable, and inclusive country.”

Responding to the U.S. Supreme Court decision issued Thursday overturning the use of affirmative action policies in college admissions, New Jersey Secretary of Higher Education Dr. Brian K. Bridges issued the following statement:

“We are collectively disappointed in the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision today to overturn this landmark legal precedent, taking us backwards from greater opportunity for all during a time when our country desperately needs more student access and success. While the ruling will jeopardize the representation of underserved student populations on campuses nationwide, we are thankful New Jersey remains committed under Governor Murphy’s Administration to promoting equity and inclusion and supporting the success of students from all backgrounds and life circumstances. We equally recognize that a state is made stronger by valuing diversity in all spaces and that diversity at institutions of higher education fosters vibrant academic and social interactions that lead to positive learning outcomes. As we work with the Governor to promote equitable admissions within the constraints of this ruling, we want to assure our students most affected by this decision that our priorities for higher education will continue to focus on equity, access and affordability.”

Princeton University President Christopher L. Eisgruber sent the following statement to the Princeton community following the Supreme Court ruling on affirmative action:

“Today the United States Supreme Court backed away from more than fifty years of established case law allowing colleges and universities to take race into account as one factor among many in a holistic admission process. Those precedents wisely recognized that colleges and universities must have some discretion to determine how best to find and attract the talent that exists in every sector of our society. Today’s decision narrows that discretion significantly.

“This morning’s opinion is unwelcome and disappointing, but it is not unexpected. Princeton has been preparing for this possibility with assistance and advice from legal counsel. While today’s decision will make our work more difficult, we will work vigorously to preserve—and, indeed, grow—the diversity of our community while fully respecting the law as announced today.

“I may have more to say after my colleagues and I have had an opportunity to examine the details of today’s decision. For now, I will reiterate principles and commitments fundamental to this University’s mission:

·         Talent exists in every sector of American society, and we have an obligation to attract exceptional people of every background and enable them to flourish on our campus.

·         Diversity benefits learning and scholarship by broadening the range of questions, perspectives, and experiences brought to bear on important topics throughout the University.

·         Our multicultural society requires that, in the words of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, “the path to leadership [must] be visibly open to talented and qualified individuals of every race and ethnicity.”

“For all these reasons and more, diversity is essential to the excellence of this University and to the future of our country and the world. Princeton will pursue it with energy, persistence, and a determination to succeed despite the restrictions imposed by the Supreme Court in its regrettable decision today.”

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7 responses to “New Jersey Reacts to SCOTUS’ Decision to Kill Affirmative Action”

  1. About time! People should be getting into colleges based on high SAT scores and GPAs, not Race. Assuming that Racial Minorities do not have the capacity to achieve the high grades and test scores is the bigotry of low expectations.

  2. Very true. School admission must be merit based.
    Favoring one ethnic group over any other is not the answer. You don’t end discrimination by discriminating against others.

  3. Very true. School admission must be merit based.
    Favoring one ethnic group over any other is not the answer. You don’t end discrimination by discriminating against others.

  4. You don’t get it. Affirmative action is not discrimination. It’s giving minorities a level playing field against a system that is inherently anti-minority. The SCOTUS Six, especially that POS Clarence (Uncle) Thomas, took the country backwards. It’s time to expand the court.

  5. I lived in a country with no affirmative action in hiring. Not a black or brown person did I see in corporations, especially at the management level. In contrast, higher education was open and free to all. Government action created this open educational environment. Private actions closed the doors for non white people. You need government action to open doors.

  6. The obese POS Michael Schnackenberg has missed the forest for the trees. The reason there’s the Marxist-Communist-Democrat affirmative action is because of the poor quality of teaching in black communities, caused by Democrat-Communists and the NEA and NJEA. It’s a cover-up for poor teaching standards in inner city and urban schools. Getting rid of the NJEA and NEA unions, cutting education taxes and, hence, cutting property taxes in the process, allowing for private schools, charter schools and school vouchers, will go a long way to bring up inner city/urban school children. Affirmative action is nothing but a cover-up for failed education policies in inner city/urban schools. It is nothing more than a Democrat-Communist construct to obtain more votes from the black community.

    Talk about Democrats keeping blacks “down on the plantation”, affirmative action spoke volumes to this.

  7. Liberals are claiming that affirmative action in higher education is meant to increase opportunities for minorities. Asians are minorities too, but not those favoried by the liberal education establishment and their echo chamber in the main stream media

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