Press Release

June 29, 2023
Cardin Calls SCOTUS Decision on College Admissions a Setback for Higher Education in America

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court decision in Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard and Students for Fair Admissions v. the University of North Carolina.

“This latest 6-3 decision from the Supreme Court is not surprising, but still disappointing. Colleges, universities and students at all levels benefit from a diverse student body. Each student brings with them a different perspective and life experiences. When these students all mix together in a learning environment, the result is a stronger experience for all. The ability of our nation’s top universities to utilize race as one factor in admissions was one important means of addressing historic discrimination on the basis of race and the inequities that exist today.

“By disallowing the use of race in college admissions, the Supreme Court is now complicit in expanding the race-based education and wealth gap in America. The conservative majority is perpetuating an antiquated system of discrimination designed to hold back Black and Brown students from realizing their full potential. I am afraid that we need to look no further for examples than the public colleges and universities in California and Michigan, which saw drops in campus diversity after state-level prohibitions against affirmative action were enacted. I agree with Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson’s powerful dissent that ‘universal benefits ensue from holistic admissions programs that allow consideration of all factors material to merit (include race), and that thereby facilitate diverse student populations.’

“In the run-up to today’s decision, I heard directly from Maryland colleges and universities concerned about the effect that a decision like this would have on their ability to meet their own goals and values for diversity. While I am confident that these institutions and others across the nation will work to maximize racial diversity within the bounds of today’s decision, this ruling will cause unnecessary regression in our work toward a more equitable future.”