The Supreme Court on Monday heard defense arguments for cases surrounding affirmative action in college admissions.

The cases in question come from Harvard College and the University of North Carolina which allow their college admissions offices to take race into consideration when accepting students into their programs. They are allowed to do this narrowly speaking, under the precedent set by the court in 2003.

The 6-3 conservative majority will have a big say in how affirmative action will be approached in school and beyond with this ruling.

The conservative justices said they are unsure where boundaries would lie should they keep allowing affirmative action.


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“I don’t see how you can say that the program will ever end,” said Chief Justice John Roberts. “Your position is that race matters because it’s necessary for diversity, which is necessary for the sort of education you want. It’s not going to stop mattering at some particular point.”

Justice Amy Coney Barrett echoed his sentiments.

“So what are you saying when you’re up here in 2040, are you still defending it?” she added. “Like this is just indefinite?”

Liberal Justice Elena Kagan brought a different perspective.

“I thought that part of what it meant to be an American and to believe in American pluralism is that, actually, our institutions are reflective of who we are as a people in all our variety,” she said.

Liberal justices seemed to agree with the point that an indefinite time period should not be the desired result, but debated over alternatives.

The majority of the justices seemed to believe that the affirmative action precedent led to the disadvantage of other students, solely based on race.

A decision by the court is expected next year.

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