June 29, 2023

Rep Watson Coleman Statement on Supreme Court Decision to Overturn Precedent on Affirmative Action

Ewing, NJ (June 29, 2023) - Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Co-Chair and Co-Founder of the Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls, and Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus's Policing, Constitution, and Equality Task Force released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court's decision to overturn precedent and end affirmative action:

I am appalled by the decision of the Supreme Court to eliminate the right of universities and colleges to address historic inequality and to consider racial diversity in its admission process. Schools that have been forced to end the use of affirmative action have seen sharp declines in the admissions of African Americans and Latinos to their student bodies. Equal access to opportunity depends on diversity in education.

Through this decision, the extremist conservative-wing of the Supreme Court has  reaffirmed the entrenched power of the super wealthy while cutting the legs out from under minority students who have excelled despite a lack of resources.  Affirmative action will still exist but only for legacy admissions of the children of alumni and the children of donors who are principally white.

It is important that our universities reflect the diversity of the nation at large and provide equitable opportunity for success for all students. Universities have used consideration of race as one of many factors in their approach to admissions. Today’s decision limits universities’ ability to build out the greatest possible student body.

This decision is just the most recent in a continuing series of scandals and partisan decisions that have led to a significant loss of faith in the Court’s fairness and impartiality among the American people. Consequently, the American people increasingly see the court as corrupt and facing a legitimacy crisis.

We’ve seen wealthy donors and extreme far-right activists capture the Supreme Court and push their own radical agenda that is at odds with everyday Americans’ modern conceptions of fairness and equality. The American People have been held hostage to a far-right agenda, propagated by a court filled with Justices in stolen seats nominated by presidents who lacked a popular mandate. 

As we work past today knowing our fight is that much harder, I believe solutions like the Judiciary Act to expand the court can return balance and sanity to what has become an out of control branch of government.  I will continue to work to ensure the American people have a Supreme Court and Judicial Branch that they can have faith in.