Affirmative Action

The U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, Monday, June 27, 2022.
The U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, Monday, June 27, 2022.
Patrick Semansky/AP
Law & Courts Affirmative Action Cases Lead What Could Prove Another Momentous Supreme Court Term
The cases on race in college admissions could affect K-12. The justices will also weigh copyright, American Indian law, and LGBTQ rights.
Mark Walsh, September 22, 2022
7 min read
In this June 8, 2021 photo, with dark clouds overhead, the Supreme Court is seen in Washington.
The U.S. Supreme Court in October will hear arguments in a pair of cases about the consideration of race in college admissions.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP
Law & Courts K-12 Groups Back Racial Diversity as Supreme Court Schedules Affirmative Action Arguments
Teachers' unions and school administrator groups ask the court to uphold the consideration of race to achieve a diverse student body.
Mark Walsh, August 3, 2022
5 min read
A man talks on his phone on the steps of Harvard University's Widener Library, in Cambridge, Mass. on June 26, 2020.
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to take up major cases on affirmative action in admissions at Harvard University, above, and at the University of North Carolina.
Elise Amendola/AP
Law & Courts U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Major Cases on Affirmative Action in Education
The outcome could affect K-12 policies when the justices rule on race-based policies at Harvard and the University of North Carolina.
Mark Walsh, January 24, 2022
3 min read
In this Nov. 10, 2020 photo the sun rises behind the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington. The Supreme Court seemed concerned Tuesday, Dec. 1, about the impact of siding with food giants Nestle and Cargill and ending a lawsuit that claims they knowingly bought cocoa beans from farms in Africa that used child slave labor. The court was hearing arguments in the case by phone because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The U.S. Supreme Court is still weighing whether to hear a case challenging Harvard University's race-conscious admissions policies.
Alex Brandon/AP
Law & Courts High Court Asks Biden Administration Views on Harvard Affirmative Action in Admissions
Some had expected U.S. Supreme Court justices to jump at the chance to reconsider the practices in education, but that's delayed for now.
Mark Walsh, June 14, 2021
3 min read
College & Workforce Readiness New Emails Surface in Trump Administration Probe of Race-Conscious College Admissions
New emails show that an investigation of race-based admissions in at least one university are getting support and direction at the top levels of the Justice Department's civil rights division.
Catherine Gewertz, January 12, 2018
2 min read
College & Workforce Readiness Unease Over Justice Dept. Stance on Admissions
There are mixed reactions to a report that the Justice Department is recruiting lawyers to investigate and potentially sue colleges and universities over racial preferences.
Mark Walsh & Catherine Gewertz, August 22, 2017
5 min read
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s courtroom chair is draped in black to mark his death. The vacancy has set off a political battle, and left the outcome of several cases in the balance.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s courtroom chair is draped in black to mark his death. The vacancy has set off a political battle, and left the outcome of several cases in the balance.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP
Law & Courts Scalia's Death Muddies Fate of Education Cases
The unexpected vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court comes with several disputes being closely watched by K-12 educators—including one involving union fees—still pending.
Mark Walsh, February 19, 2016
10 min read
Law & Courts High Court Showdown Looms on Race-Based Admissions
A dispute involving admissions policies at the University of Texas at Austin is up for arguments before the Supreme Court once again, and K-12 groups are weighing its implications carefully.
Mark Walsh, December 8, 2015
4 min read
College & Workforce Readiness Union Fees, Affirmative Action on High Court's 2015-16 Docket
Cases before the U.S. Supreme Court this term may reach into teachers' paychecks, union treasuries, and college admissions offices.
Mark Walsh, September 29, 2015
6 min read
Students walk through the campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The United States Supreme Court has upheld Michigan's ban on race-based preferences in university admissions enacted by voters in 2006.
Students walk through the campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The United States Supreme Court has upheld Michigan's ban on race-based preferences in university admissions enacted by voters in 2006.
--Ryan Garza/Detroit Free Press/AP
College & Workforce Readiness Michigan Affirmative-Action Ruling May Have Modest K-12 Effect
The U.S. Supreme Court upholds a Michigan initiative barring race-based preferences in admissions at the state’s universities, but no one opinion commanded a majority.
Mark Walsh, May 2, 2014
5 min read
Nakia Wallace, center, a Detroit high school student, protests at the U.S. Supreme Court in support of affirmative action. The high court is weighing a Michigan law barring its use in higher education.
Nakia Wallace, center, a Detroit high school student, protests at the U.S. Supreme Court in support of affirmative action. The high court is weighing a Michigan law barring its use in higher education.
Susan Walsh/AP
Law & Courts High Court Weighs Mich. Affirmative-Action Ban
Conservatives on the U.S. Supreme Court appeared skeptical that Michigan's voter-enacted prohibition on affirmative action in higher education violates the 14th Amendment's equal-protection principles.
Mark Walsh, October 21, 2013
4 min read
The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2013-2014 term opened last week, despite the federal government shutdown. The justices rejected appeals in cases concerning drug-detection dogs in schools and student religious speech, among others involving education. They also heard arguments in campaign-finance and age-discrimination cases being watched by educators.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2013-2014 term opened last week, despite the federal government shutdown. The justices rejected appeals in cases concerning drug-detection dogs in schools and student religious speech, among others involving education. They also heard arguments in campaign-finance and age-discrimination cases being watched by educators.
Evan Vucci/AP
Education Funding Education-Related Cases Part of High Court Workload
The U.S. Supreme Court turned away several education appeals and heard arguments in other cases watched by school groups as its 2013-14 term opened.
Mark Walsh, October 14, 2013
5 min read
Supporters of Proposal 2 gather during a rally on the University of Michigan's Diag in Ann Arbor in 2006.
Supporters of Proposal 2 gather during a rally on the University of Michigan's Diag in Ann Arbor in 2006.
Carlos Osorio/AP-File
Law & Courts Supreme Court to Tackle Race Case
The justices will weigh a case about a 2006 Michigan ballot measure that prohibited racial preferences in education and other areas of state and local government.
Mark Walsh, October 1, 2013
7 min read
Abigail Fisher, who sued the University of Texas when she was not offered a spot at the university's flagship Austin campus in 2008, is followed by Edward Blum of the Project on Fair Representation, after a news conference at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington on Monday. The U.S. Supreme Court ruling on affirmative action in higher education will have "no impact" on the University of Texas' admissions policy, school president Bill Powers said Monday, noting UT will continue to use race as a factor in some cases.
Abigail Fisher, who sued the University of Texas when she was not offered a spot at the university's flagship Austin campus in 2008, is followed by Edward Blum of the Project on Fair Representation, after a news conference at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington on Monday. The U.S. Supreme Court ruling on affirmative action in higher education will have "no impact" on the University of Texas' admissions policy, school president Bill Powers said Monday, noting UT will continue to use race as a factor in some cases.
Charles Dharapak/AP
Law & Courts Race-Related Cases Drew High Court Focus
The U.S. Supreme Court's just-finished term included two major decisions affecting how race plays out in the nation's school districts.
Mark Walsh, July 10, 2013
9 min read