Economists split on recent affirmative action court ruling’s impact



(The Center Square) – A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that ended affirmative action in college admissions left a group of Ohio economists split on the impact it will have on diversity in Ohio schools.

Scioto Analysis, a fiscal policy analytic group based outside Columbus, questioned 16 economic professors around the state on if they thought the ruling would decrease diversity at the state’s colleges and universities, if it would decrease the ability for schools to promote economic mobility, and if it would promote equal opportunities in admissions.

Responses were split on if economists felt the reversal would impact diversity at most colleges and universities. Only six thought diversity would be affected, while most were uncertain or disagreed.

“There is research based on states that removed affirmative action previously. That research generally shows that on average there was not much change in college attendance except at the most selective schools, where minority enrollment decreased and white enrollment increased,” said Kent State’s Curtis Reynolds. “So, it could decrease diversity at the most selective schools, but will likely not have much effect at most institutions.”

The majority, 10 of the 16, disagreed that the ruling would promote equal opportunities in the admission process.

Earlier in July, Sen. J.D. Vance, R-Ohio, threatened to investigate two Ohio colleges and Ivy League universities if those schools plan to try to get around a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that banned affirmative action-based admissions.

In a statement, he said Ivy League presidents, along with presidents at Kenyon College and Oberlin College, made statements he said indicated plans to defy the court’s ruling and continue to focus on race during the admissions process.

In late June, the Supreme Court struck down affirmative action policies at Harvard and the University of North Carolina, saying those admission policies violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

Separate 6-3 and 6-2 rulings upend years of common practice at higher educational institutions around the nation and could have a major impact on how colleges discriminate based on race, and whether schools that have refused to do so can now receive federal funding. The court’s three liberal justices – Elana Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor and Ketanji Brown Jackson – dissented in the 6-3 ruling from the UNC case. Jackson recused herself from the Harvard case because she previously served on Harvard’s board of overseers.



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