Judgment Day Appears Close for Affirmative Action

Listen and subscribe: Apple | Spotify | Google | Wherever You ListenSign up to receive our weekly newsletter of the best New Yorker podcasts.Photograph by Jabin Botsford / The Washington Post / GettyThis week, the Supreme Court heard two cases—against Harvard and U.N.C.—that may very well bring about the end of affirmative action at American

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Photograph by Jabin Botsford / The Washington Post / Getty

This week, the Supreme Court heard two cases—against Harvard and U.N.C.—that may very well bring about the end of affirmative action at American colleges and universities. The practice rests on the Fourteenth Amendment: equal protection under the law. But the Court, under the conservative Justice John Roberts, is reëvaluating what “equal protection” really means, raising the idea that current methods of affirmative action are actually a thinly veiled form of racism. Jeannie Suk Gersen, a New Yorker contributing writer and a professor at Harvard Law School, was in attendance for Monday’s oral arguments. She joins Tyler Foggatt to discuss whether a more holistic admissions process is the best way to create diversity, and whether diversity is really the best ideal for universities to aspire to.

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