The United States Supreme Court has ruled that race-based considerations for college admissions are unconstitutional.

This is a fast-developing story; check back for details.

UPDATE 10:55 AM EDT --

The Supreme Court issued a divided ruling on a pair of challenges to affirmative action policies at Harvard and the University of North Carolina, with potential implications across higher education and beyond.

The court ruled against the programs — saying in the majority opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts that the systems in place "lack sufficiently focused and measurable objectives warranting the use of race, unavoidably employ race in a negative manner, involve racial stereotyping, and lack meaningful end points, those admissions programs cannot be reconciled with the guarantees of the Equal Protection Clause."

But the court did not rule out race entirely in admission programs, adding, "nothing prohibits universities from considering an applicant’s discussion of how race affected the applicant’s life, so long as that discussion is concretely tied to a quality of character or unique ability that the particular applicant can contribute to the university."

In the dissent filed by Justice Sotomayor, she argues that the Court's majority opinion is "not grounded in law or fact."

"Today, this Court stands in the way and rolls back decades of precedent and momentous progress," the dissent reads. "It holds that race can no longer be used in a limited way in college admissions to achieve such critical benefits. In so holding, the Court cements a superficial rule of colorblindness as a constitutional principle in an endemically segregated society where race has always mattered and continues to matter. The Court subverts the constitutional guarantee of equal protection by further entrenching racial inequality in education, the very foundation of our democratic government and pluralistic society."

Later, the Justice asserts that when the Court singles out race, they impose a "special burden on racial minorities for whom race is a crucial component of their identity."


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