Central Texans react to SCOTUS ruling on affirmative action

The Supreme Court ruled on June 29 that colleges and universities can no longer use affirmative action when it comes to admitting students.

"Let's face it, this is a Supreme Court that's operating on an ideology, and that in and of itself is a problem. When I read the comments by Roberts, he talks about how it can't be race-based. It never was really. Keep in mind that affirmative action was put in place to mitigate the impact of white supremacy. So even the whole premise is flawed," said Nelson Linder, president of the Austin NAACP. "He's ignoring the whole history of the impact of race in America."

"I don't think we need to be writing wrongs that were committed 100 years ago, 200 years ago. I think we've reached a new point in our society where it doesn't matter what color you are or whose pedigree you claim. You're an American. You can, if you do well, you make the grades, you meet the criteria, you can go to college," said Andy Hogue, communications director for the Travis County Republican Party. "We saw where it had a negative effect of keeping Asians out of higher learning institutions because there were too many of them. And how is that not racist?"

RELATED: Supreme Court strikes down affirmative action in college admissions

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WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 29: Supporters of affirmative action protest near the U.S. Supreme Court Building on Capitol Hill on June 29, 2023 in Washington, DC. In a 6-3 vote, Supreme Court Justices ruled that race-conscious admissions programs at Harvard and the University of North Carolina are unconstitutional, setting precedent for affirmative action in other universities and colleges. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Earlier this month, the governor signed legislation that would ban DEI offices and training at publicly funded universities.

On Thursday, a new bill was filed, similar to the SCOTUS ruling, but expanded to include governmental employment. 

"This decision seems in a very real sense to only reaffirm and to further entrench the decision of the Texas Legislature and the governor with regard to the role that race plays in admissions and in the workplace in the state of Texas," said Eddy Carder, a constitutional law professor at Prairie View A&M University. 

President Biden announced plans to direct the Department of Education to "analyze what practices help build a more inclusive and diverse student body and what practices all that pack practices like legacy admissions and other systems and expand privilege instead of opportunity."

"So he's marshaling forces at the federal level. And then we're also going to see that this decision today leads to further litigation, most likely with regard to student admissions," said Carder. "In that sense, this decision is going to play itself out."

RELATED: UT-Austin only Texas public university affected by Supreme Court’s ending use of race in admissions

In 2008, Abigail Fisher filed a lawsuit against UT Austin claiming she was denied admission because she was white. Her lawyers claimed she was rejected while Black applicants with lower grades and test scores were admitted.

Her case reached the Supreme Court in 2016, and the court ultimately sided with the university. UT Austin released the following statement on Twitter in response to the SCOTUS ruling:

"Since the Supreme Court’s 2016 ruling in Fisher v. University of Texas, The University of Texas at Austin has continued to recruit and enroll consistently stronger classes composed of students from diverse backgrounds and perspectives, and improved graduation rates among all students, especially those who are underrepresented or first-generation. While doing so, the University has lawfully been considering race among many factors as part of its comprehensive and holistic admissions process. UT will make the necessary adjustments to comply with the most recent changes to the law and remains committed to offering an exceptional education to students from all backgrounds and preparing our students to succeed and change the world."