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Connolly Statement on SCOTUS Rulings on Affirmative Action

Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA) issued the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s decisions in Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina:

“Today, the Supreme Court ruled that affirmative action violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment, effectively denying untold numbers of students the opportunity to learn and excel at the collegiate level and beyond.

“Every student deserves a fair chance to receive a quality education, regardless of their family’s location, income, or racial or ethnic background. The Supreme Court has ruled for five decades, including four decisions in the past 20 years, that colleges can consider an applicant’s race as one of many factors in a holistic admissions process. These holistic considerations break down some of the barriers that prevent many talented and qualified Black, Latino, Native American, and AAPI students from attending some of the most selective and competitive universities in the nation.

“This nation has never met its aspiration to be truly colorblind. We have never finished grappling with the history and long-term impacts of slavery and the deep inequities it begat. This ruling will only benefit highly privileged groups at the cost of opportunities for accomplished, talented, and deserving students who do not always have the resources to compete at the highest levels, despite their capabilities.

“A majority of Americans, including 69% of Asian-Americans, support affirmative action for its clear benefit to all students. Diversity enriches college experiences across the country. This holds true for all students, regardless of race, ethnicity, or economic background. I am disappointed by today’s decisions, but I will proudly remain committed to the fight for diversity and equity in education.”

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