The Supreme Court on Friday took a step that will allow new Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman on the court, to take part in a case that could lead to the end of the use of race in college admissions.
Last month, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson made history when she was sworn in as the first Black woman to sit in the U.S. Supreme Court. She will hear a University of North Carolina case involving race-based college admissions.
According to the Associated Press, looking ahead to the high court’s next term which begins in October, the justices are expected to hear two affirmative action cases on the docket. The cases challenge the use of race in admissions at both a public university, (the University of North Carolina) and at a private university (Harvard).
Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Elena Kagan and Neil Gorsuch all received law degrees from Harvard. In addition, Roberts was a Harvard undergraduate and Kagan was the law school dean for a time.
The cases could decide the future of affirmative action. Considering that Jackson has joined the court which has a 6-3 conservative majority firmly in place, her vote is not likely to impact the ruling.
Next term, the court will also hear a congressional redistricting map case from Alabama involving the consolidation of Black voters into one single congressional district. The effect of such a move would dilute Black citizens’ voting power, which is prohibited by Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.