The U.S. Supreme Court's decision declaring that race-conscious admissions programs at Harvard and UNC were unlawful caused many Massachusetts leaders to reject the court's ruling.
The court voted along partisan lines, 6-3, with the three liberal judges dissenting.
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu took aim at the court's overturning decades of settled law.
We fully reject this court’s worldview & recommit to the vital work of building a more just & equitable society for all our communities. pic.twitter.com/PBYv1LJE74
— Mayor Michelle Wu 吳弭 (@MayorWu) June 29, 2023
Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (D-7th) said the decision is the "latest white supremacist assault on equity and access in education."
"For decades, affirmative action has been a critical tool for confronting the deep and lasting legacy of anti-Black racism and discrimination that’s still all too present in our higher education system," said Pressley. "And today’s damning decision by the far-right Supreme Court, to overturn decades of legal precedent and ban race-conscious admissions, will only exacerbate the institutional oppression that has barred Black, brown, and other marginalized students from equitable educational opportunities for generations."
Pressley said universities must affirm their commitment to racial and ethnic diversity, and that our government must address racial disparities in educational access.
Governor Maura Healey and Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll released a statement.
“Massachusetts will always be welcoming and inclusive of students of color and students historically underrepresented in higher education. Today’s Supreme Court decision overturns decades of settled law. In the Commonwealth, our values and our commitment to progress and continued representation in education remain unshakable," said the statement. "We will continue to break down barriers to higher education so that all students see themselves represented in both our public and private campus communities. Massachusetts, the home of the first public school and first university, will lead the way in championing access, equity, and inclusion in education."
Like many others, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) attacked the court's reversal of settled law.
An extremist Supreme Court has once again reversed decades of settled law, rolled back the march toward racial justice, and narrowed educational opportunity for all. I won't stop fighting for young people with big dreams who deserve an equal chance to pursue their future.
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) June 29, 2023
At-Large City Councilor Ruth Louijeune said the decision makes her want to expand the court.
Affirmative Action has been on shaky ground ever since the Supreme Court ruled that the compelling government interest to keep it alive sounded in “diversity” instead of repairing this country’s past (& current) racial harm.
And that’s why we need court expansion.
— Ruthzee Louijeune (@Ruthzee) June 29, 2023