NBC’s headline caught my eye, “Supreme Court ends affirmative action.” USA Today summarized the ruling: Chief Justice John Roberts, a long-time skeptic of race-based policies, stated too many universities concluded wrongly that the touchstone of an individual’s racial identity outweighed skills lessons learned. Furthermore, Roberts indicated that the nation’s constitutional history does not tolerate ‘racial choice.’

Conservatives hailed the decision, pontificating that the Constitution must be “colorblind.” The Great Pumpkin (Trump) reiterated that America experienced a great day. Moderates condemned the ruling, saying affirmative action is vital for remedying historic race discrimination. Like last year’s revocation of reproductive rights in Dobbs v. Jackson, today’s decision achieves a long-standing conservative policy goal, and the Heritage Foundation, the Federalist Society, and the entire conservative legal establishment can party hard tonight.

The demise of affirmative action was not achieved solely by Republican lawyers. Yeah, Supreme Court conservatives delivered the fatal blow. Still, parents whose commitment to integration and equality went blind when little darlings failed to gain entry into the university played a racial card. “My little beauty fell because the institution preferred some unqualified, unprepared black or brown kid.” White mediocre achievers use affirmative action as an excuse to justify their kids’ lack of credentials. 

The entire argument against affirmative action is based on the feelings of some students (and their parents) that they would have gotten into these schools if the schools admitted fewer Black people. However, crushing affirmative action will significantly impact those who require it most. California ended its affirmative action policies over 25 years ago. Subsequent studies demonstrate that, without affirmative action, Black enrollment plummets, Latino enrollment plummets, and whites flood the remaining opportunities. However, not all was lost. 

One area where the affirmative action law remains conspicuously unchanged: U.S. military academies. The Supreme Court ruling also doesn’t address the elite form of affirmative action: the preferential treatment for legacy admissions, the children of financial donors, athletes, and relatives of school staff remain untouched by the court ruling. The oversight (or not) is a significant one. White people will benefit. Black people will not. (Well, unless you’re a Supreme Court Justice like Clarence Thomas.)

President Obama stated elections have consequences. The Affirmative Action decision by the U.S. Supreme Court is another example of why it’s important to vote.