Assemblymember Steck’s Statement on the Supreme Court Striking Down Affirmative Action

"In Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (1978), the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the use of race as a criterion in college or university admissions decisions was constitutional. Since the landmark case in 1978, the Supreme Court has upheld that race-based admissions policies are in keeping with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

“While unsurprisingly, the radical 6-3 conservative supermajority has yet again thrown its legitimacy into question by reversing decades of Supreme Court precedent. The impact of this decision will be felt immediately, as students of color will be denied the opportunity to obtain higher education, and universities struggle to adapt to this abhorrent ruling.

“In her dissent opinion, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson summarizes this ruling perfectly, “With let-them-eat-cake obliviousness, today, the majority pulls the ripcord and announces “colorblindness for all” by legal fiat. But deeming race irrelevant in law does not make it so in life”.

“As a member of the Assembly and a practicing Civil Rights Attorney, I will be working with my colleagues and SUNY Chancellor John B. King, Jr. to explore if there are any legislative remedies to ensure students of color have equal opportunity in admissions in New York State.”