CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The U.S. Supreme Court overruled a long standing precedent that will affect the future of students in universities everywhere, including local universities.
"You cannot use race as a factor in your application decisions, with the caveat that it can only be used if you can show that it correlates to a unique aspect of the applicants character," civil rights attorney Matt Manning said.
That caveat can be shown through either a letter of recommendation or a written essay, but Manning said that approach isn’t enough. He said the Supreme Court is taking a color blind approach and are not taking into account that some students lack certain resources that others have access to, such as private tutors, school equipment and specialized classes.
"Now you’re just seeing numbers on paper. And that’s not going to be representative of what got those students there, nor is it going to be helpful in facilitating a more diverse student body," Manning said.
The ruling had mixed reactions. Some Corpus Christi residents were for it, but others were against it.
"I think it's not a bad idea. You shouldn't be questioned about your race. Especially being in America and our so called freedoms, that shouldn’t be a factor or an issue when deciding whether you’re accepted," Joshua Garza said.
"25 years ago when it was put into place, affirmative action was definitely a necessity and I think that minority groups in general have worked really hard to be on equal footing. I think that this was a step back," Danna Ross said.
There are also some who just accepted it.
"I think it’s a sign of the times of how everything is changing. It’s progressing in one way or another. I’m not on either side of it," Anthony Bouldin said.
The new ruling does not affect military academies. Manning said if the military can consider race, universities should too.
"If its important to have a diverse military, isn’t is also important to have a diverse professional class?" Manning said. "If we can put a gun in someones hand and send them across the sea to go fight for us, isn't it just as important for us to put a book in everyone's hand and have them help move America forward with their expertise?"
Manning also said that this overruling has civil rights and public policy advocates concerned with other established rulings being thrown out, which could take the U.S. back decades.