US Supreme Court to hear race-based college admissions cases
MarkThomas / Pixabay
US Supreme Court to hear race-based college admissions cases

The US Supreme Court agreed Monday to reconsider whether race can be used in college admissions decisions. The court granted certiorari in Students for Fair Admissions v. President & Fellows of Harvard College and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina, consolidating the cases for one hour of oral argument.

The cases will give the court the opportunity to consider its 2003 decision in Grutter v. Bollinger, in which the court held that the use of a student’s race as one factor in admissions decisions did not violate the Equal Protection clause so long as the policy is narrowly tailored to the compelling interest of promoting diversity and race is part of a holistic evaluation.

In the Harvard case, petitioners argue that the private university’s policy unfairly disadvantages Asian-American applicants in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. In the North Carolina case, petitioners allege that the policy of the public university violates the Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The court is likely to hear the case next term, and a decision is not expected until later this year or early next year.

Also Monday the court agreed to hear a case on the regulation of wetlands. In Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency the court will rule on the proper test for determining whether wetlands are “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act.

The court also agreed Monday to hear Axon Enterprise, Inc. v. Federal Trade Commission. In this case the court will decide “[w]hether Congress impliedly stripped federal district courts of jurisdiction over constitutional challenges to the Federal Trade Commission’s structure, procedures, and existence by granting the courts of appeals jurisdiction to ‘affirm, enforce, modify, or set aside’ the Commission’s cease-and-desist orders.”