• Viviane Nguyen

Supreme Court Upholding Affirmative Action, No Impact on Asian Americans in UC Admissions

The Supreme Court on affirmative action would have impacted the University of California’s admission policies and changed the story of application rates for minorities.

The hashtag #StayMadAbby was trending following the ruling of Fisher vs. University of Texas at Austin. Abby, short for Abigail Fisher, is a white applicant that claimed the University of Texas at Austin denied her admissions on the grounds of race in 2008. This case was a test for affirmative action, a policy that favored those who have historically suffered from discrimination, including Latinos, Blacks, and Asian Americans.

With the Supreme Court's 4-3 decision, race-conscious admissions can be legal in the interest of diversity. Opponents of affirmative action have effectively lost their case.

However, Proposition 209 which bans affirmative action in California will remain despite the Supreme Court’s decision. Prop 209’s impact on the University of California’s admission rates was dramatic, with the rate of minorities accepted dropping across the board since 1997.

Back in 2014, the Senate passed SCA 5 as a constitutional amendment to repeal Proposition 209, which would allow UCs to take race into consideration for admissions. This set off a firestorm of division between Asian American communities, where some felt that the implementation of affirmative action would put their children at a disadvantage instead.

Fisher vs. Texas means there will be no changes to the UC system admissions process, but affirmative action is still a hot button issue in the ever changing dynamics of demographics in California.

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Viviane Nguyen She is a lover of politics. She has researched and worked in different levels of government in San Jose, Sacramento, Washington D.C., and Thailand. She is motivated to highlight issues impacting the Vietnamese-American community and Asian American communities at large. She was formerly a Cal-in-Sacramento Fellow at UC Berkeley and notably a Public Policy and International Affairs Fellow at the Goldman School of Public Policy. She wants to write to show why politics, especially in 2016, is important.

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