Eighteen years after Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor wrote in the majority opinion for Grutter v. Bollinger that, "...25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest approved today,” her statement could help form arguments at SCOTUS if the Court decides to take up a challenge to Harvard College’s race-conscious admissions system.
College of Law dean and constitutional law expert Vikram Amar says the high court has set up paths to overrule its past rulings before, including in the Janus v. AFSCME case involving labor unions requiring non-members to pay dues.
“Justice Alito’s majority opinion talked a lot about how in the years leading up to Janus, the court had been sending signals that this case from the 1970s should no longer be relied upon and was based on a weak foundation,” Amar said.
“So there are instances where the court tries to provide a path for changing its past rulings, but nothing as explicit as the Grutter decision.”
An argument for ruling against Harvard and further paring back how schools use affirmative action is that “the passage of time gives people more and more ammunition to say, ‘we’ve got to move on because we’re moving further away from the era of explicit exclusion of people of color,” Amar said.
Read the full article at bloomberg.com.