Supreme Court Strikes Down Racial Preferences in College Admissions

In Analysis by Michael Rae

Section One of the Fourteenth Amendment, in pertinent part, declares that “[n]o State . . . shall . . . deny to any person within its jurisdiction equal protection of the laws.” At its most basic level, the Equal Protection Clause requires that state and local governments treat similarly situated individuals the same. Indeed, coming out of Reconstruction, one can fairly say that the central purpose of the Fourteenth Amendment was to eliminate racial discrimination. Unfortunately, the early Supreme Court opinions (e.g., Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)) ignored this core purpose. They allowed states to provide separate accommodations and facilities for blacks and

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