The Potential Corporate Impact of the Supreme Court Decision on Affirmative Action

August 2022

In early 2022, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case brought forth by a conservative student group challenging the use of race in admissions at Harvard University. The constitutionality of the use of affirmative action in the college admissions process has been affirmed by the Supreme Court in a series of decisions beginning in 1978 and as recently as 2016. However, considering the ideological shift that’s occurred on the Court since the last decision, there is a chance precedent will be overturned, similarly to Roe v. Wade. Corporate America has a well-documented history of speaking out in support of affirmative action when it has been deliberated by the Supreme Court. In 2003, 20 companies signed on to an amicus brief supporting affirmative action in the Grutter v. Bollinger case. In 2016, the number of companies speaking out in support grew to 45 for Fisher v. Texas II. This is a critical issue for corporations because they rely on diverse student bodies at universities where they recruit to ensure diversity in the workplace.

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