UNC affirmative action admission policies are legal and can continue, judge rules

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill can continue to use race as a factor in its admission process.

A federal judge ruled Monday in a lawsuit brought by a group named Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) that is trying to dismantle college affirmative action policies across the country.

Affirmative action policies were put into place in the 1960s as part of efforts to help the United States live up to its promise of liberty and justice for all. The policies were designed to combat racial profiling and prejudice in hiring or admissions processes.

Conservative legal action groups like SFFA call the affirmative action policies unfair and unconstitutional. However, in this case, Judge Loretta C. Biggs denied those accusations.

Biggs said that UNC's use of race in deciding which students to admit was narrowly tailored. In addition, she said that UNC had made an effort to consider race-neutral alternatives.

"While no student can or should be admitted to this University, or any other, based solely on race, because race is so interwoven in every aspect of the lived experience of minority students, to ignore it, reduce its importance and measure it only by statistical models as SFFA has done, misses important context to include obscuring racial barriers and obstacles that have been faced, overcome and are yet to be overcome," Biggs said.

According to our newsgathering partners at the News & Observer, SFFA is behind at least two other similar lawsuits at the University of Texas and Harvard University. In both cases, judges have ruled in favor of the universities. However, SFFA has vowed to appeal the rulings and take the argument to the Supreme Court of the United States.
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