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Trump celebrates Supreme Court decision on affirmative action: ‘The way it should be!’

The former president had formerly defended affirmative action

Abe Asher
Thursday 29 June 2023 21:42 BST
Biden says 'discrimination still exists' in America after Supreme Court strikes down affirmative action

Former President Donald Trump celebrated the Supreme Court’s decision to reject affirmative action programmes at US colleges and universities on Wednesday morning, calling it a “a great day for America.”

In a post on Truth Social, Mr Trump said that the ruling was “amazing.”

“This is a great day for America,” Mr Trump wrote. “People with extraordinary ability and everything else necessary for success, including future greatness for our Country, are finally being rewarded. This is the ruling everyone was waiting and hoping for and the result was amazing. It will also keep us competitive with the rest of the world.”

Mr Trump continued in his post to say that he supports an “all merit-based” college admissions process.

“Our greatest minds must be cherished and that’s what this wonderful day has brought,” Mr Trump wrote. “We’re going back to all merit-based—and that’s the way it should be!”

The Supreme Court’s ruling against race-conscious admissions programmes at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina was one of the most highly anticipated of the year, and it broke along ideological lines in the latter case with the court’s six conservatives voting to ban the practice and its three liberals voting to keep it. The vote was the same in the Harvard case, with Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson recusing herself.

US colleges and universities have been allowed to use race as a factor in their admissions processes for decades, with many arguing that the ability to consider race when evaluating applicants and constructing classes is valuable and necessary in a multiracial society with a history of virulent white supremacy.

Mr Trump, at one point in his life, agreed. In an interview with Chuck Todd during his first campaign for president in 2015, the former president stated that he had no opposition to affirmative action programmes.

“I’m fine with affirmative action,” Mr Trump said then. “You have to also go free market, you have to go capability, you have to do a lot of things, but I’m fine with affirmative action. We’ve lived with it for a long time, and I’ve lived with it for a long time. And I’ve had great relationships with lots of people, so I’m fine with it.”

Gov Ron DeSantis’ campaign attacked Mr Trump for his prior affirmative action position in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision, captioning a clip of Mr Trump’s interview with Todd with the words “Sad day for affirmative-action advocates.”

President Joe Biden, meanwhile, decried the Court’s decision — saying Wednesday that this is “not a normal court.” The Court is expected to hand down its decision on Mr Biden’s student loan forgiveness programme tomorrow morning.

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