Following the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn “affirmative action” practices in college admissions,  Republican State Rep. Brian Harrison of Midlothian is calling on Gov. Greg Abbott to add to this special session a ban on all race-based admissions, employment, and contracting practices in all universities. 

On Thursday, justices voted 6-2 in favor of Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard (Justice Ketanji Jackson-Brown recused herself) and 6-3 in favor of Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina.

The SCOTUS ruling now requires the ending of race-based admission policies at all public universities, including the University of Texas. It also may affect private universities such as Rice University and Southern Methodist University due to their acceptance of federal funding. 

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority opinion that “the Harvard and UNC admissions programs cannot be reconciled with the guarantees of the Equal Protection Clause.” 

Roberts also said that moving forward, students must be judged on individual merit rather than race.

“A benefit to a student who overcame racial discrimination, for example, must be tied to that student’s courage and determination. Or a benefit to a student whose heritage or culture motivated him or her to assume a leadership role or attain a particular goal must be tied to that student’s unique ability to contribute to the university. In other words, the student must be treated based on his or her experiences as an individual—not on the basis of race.”

In concurrence with Roberts’ majority opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas stated that race-based employment and admission policies are “an insult to individual achievement and cancerous to young minds seeking to push through barriers, rather than consign themselves to permanent victimhood.” 

A day after the decision was made public, Harrison sent a letter to Abbott asking him to add to the call for this special session a ban on all race-based admissions, employment, and contracting practices in all public and private universities that accept federal money. 

Harrison said in the letter that “taxpayer-funded racism has no place in the great state of Texas” and Texas must be bold in eliminating racial discrimination.

“Acting boldly now will more quickly help Texas make Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream of living in a state and nation where people will ‘not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character’ a reality.” 

Emily Medeiros

Emily graduated from the University of Oklahoma majoring in Journalism. She is excited to use her research and writing skills to report on important issues around Texas.