(RightWing.org) – The Supreme Court handed down its long-awaited opinion in Students for Fair Admissions Inc. v. President & Fellows of Harvard College on June 29. The ruling effectively ended the use of affirmative action or race-based policies in admission programs at public and private universities. Three days later, former Vice President Mike Pence said he believed the policy had run the course of its usefulness and was no longer applicable.
On July 2, Pence sat down for a wide-ranging interview with ABC News “This Week.” Host Jonathan Karl raised the topic of the Supreme Court’s recent decision, asking if the former vice president thought it would impact minority attendance at the nation’s most elite colleges and universities.
Pence responded that he “couldn’t be more proud” of America’s progress toward its promise of a “more perfect union” in his lifetime. He said affirmative action played an important role in opening the doors of the country’s higher education institutions to minorities, “particularly African American,” who had been denied access in the past.
However, Pence said he thought that “those days are over.” He pointed to the “incredible accomplishments” of America’s Blacks, Asians, and Hispanics as evidence the nation had evolved past a need for affirmative action.
Pence also pointed out liberal Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s prediction in her majority decision in Grutter v. Bollinger (2003). She wrote that affirmative action-based admissions policies “must be limited in time,” adding that the Court believed the “use of racial preferences [would] no longer be necessary” by 2028.
“It went away a little sooner than that,” Pence noted, adding that the shift served as a “tribute to our minority students.”
Ironically, Chief Justice John Roberts cited Grutter v. Bollinger in his majority opinion in the Students for Fair Admissions case. He exempted the nation’s military academies from the Court’s ruling, noting that affirmative action admissions procedures furthered “compelling interests” at those institutions.
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