commissioners' statement on scotus ruling against affirmative action

The Essex County Board of Commissioners releases the following statement concerning the recent Supreme Court decision on affirmative action:

“Yesterday’s decision from the U.S. Supreme Court gutting affirmative action for universities is a tragic if unsurprising development. Less than two weeks ago we were commemorating Juneteenth and the legacy of institutionalized racism our communities are still facing today, from redlining to de facto segregation. In New Jersey alone, the median wealth for white families is over 18 times that of black families. Affirmative action is an important tool among many for advancing equal opportunity, reducing racial biases, and increasing diversity, which benefits all students. Without it, students of color are 23% less likely to be admitted to highly selective universities. As Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson said in her dissent, American society has never been colorblind. In this case as they have in other recent decisions, the SCOTUS conservative majority continues to deny legal precedent and the real issues Americans face. We stand with our communities against the now-greater hurdles they face because of this unjust decision.”

Commissioner President Wayne Richardson added:

"This decision directly impacts Essex County and cities like Newark that strive to increase the number of residents with college and university degrees. Advanced degrees are still some of the most effective tools for building intergenerational wealth and economic mobility. We will continue to employ any effective programs or policies at our disposal to advance this goal and support our residents despite this setback."

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For Additional Information - Contact:
Adam Tucker, Public Information Officer
Essex County Board of County Commissioners
973-621-4452 (phone) 973-621-5695 (fax)
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Board of County Commissioners,
County of Essex
465 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.,
Room 558 Hall of Records,
Newark, New Jersey 07102