Supreme Court Says No


( – Despite previously ruling against the liberal push for affirmative action, the Supreme Court decided not to take up a challenge against the admissions policy at a high school in Northern Virginia.

The highest court’s decision keeps a system in place that allegedly reduces Asian American student numbers to improve other minorities’ representation at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology.

This case marks a new point in the ongoing debate over affirmative action, especially after the Court previously struck down university policies that gave certain minority students an advantage with “plus” factors.

Thomas Jefferson High School adopted a geographic-based method for admissions to diversify its student body by giving better chances to Black and Hispanic students. This move sparked controversy, with critics arguing it unfairly puts Asian American applicants at a disadvantage.

Without providing any explanation the justices refused to hear the case. However Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Justice Clarence Thomas issued a strong dissent criticizing the decision to uphold a clearly flawed lower-court ruling favoring the school’s policy.

Amid a nationwide push for racial justice following the George Floyd case in 2020, Thomas Jefferson High School changed its admissions criteria and moved away from standardized tests to a system that allocates seats based on middle school representation.

This change aimed to reduce the disproportionately high Asian American enrollment, which stood at 73% for the 2020 entering class.

The revised policy altered the school’s demographic makeup by decreasing Asian American admissions. The group Coalition for TJ challenged the policy and initially succeeded in district court where the judge found the school board’s actions discriminatory and unconstitutional.

However the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals later overturned this decision by endorsing the geographic criteria as race-neutral. Justice Alito criticized this rationale and warned it could set a dangerous precedent for future affirmative action policies.

Despite the Supreme Court’s recent stance against racial considerations in admissions at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina, Thomas Jefferson High School’s policy remains in place, which indicates a possible avenue for educational institutions to incorporate racial considerations indirectly.