Students, metro Atlanta college leaders react to Supreme Court’s Affirmative Action ruling

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that affirmative action policies at colleges and universities violate the Fourteenth Amendment.

Many local historically black colleges like Spelman College and Morehouse College criticized the ruling saying it will “affect diversity across all sectors of our society.”

“I want to major in finance,” said Edward Washington, III.

Washington said that’s the sole reason why he chose to attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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“I thought to employers it would probably be the most enticing applicant profile if I went to M-I-T,” said Washington.

Washington said he believes his above-average grades helped him get in, but he also acknowledges other factors.

“I’m also aware if Affirmative Action wasn’t there and given admission counselors don’t know everything about their applicants they might see me on a piece of paper and maybe at a glance, I look too similar to other students,” he said.

But in a six-three decision on Thursday, the Supreme Court decided to get rid of Affirmative Action, in regards to college admissions.

“I was just very disappointed,” said Alex Shay.

Alex Shay is a student at Brown University.

He believes race shouldn’t be a factor in college acceptance.

“Race doesn’t affect everyone the same way, so to have a blanket policy where everybody’s race is considered no matter what, I don’t think that’s appropriate, because it impacts people in different ways,” said Shay.


But Morehouse College President Dr. David Thomas said removing Affirmative Action is the wrong move.

“This is a travesty for the nation and can have long and enduring negative effects. The estimate at some elite colleges is that the impact of this decision will reduce the black population, student population by 40%,” said Thomas.

Eric Tidwell is General Counsel for the Martin Luther King Jr. estate in Atlanta. He graduated from both Georgia State and John Marshall School of Law, which are both (P.W.I) Predominately White Institutions.

He said the Supreme Court’s decision goes beyond just college admissions.

“If Affirmative Action is gutted in its totality, in its entirety, it may affect employment practices, the rewarding of contracts, and things of that nature. It seems as if we’re taking steps backward and not forward,” said Tidwell.

Morehouse College President Thomas said he’s expecting more people to apply at Morehouse because they may not get accepted at other colleges, now that race won’t be considered on applications.

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