WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden continued to criticize the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down universities’ affirmative action programs, but said trying to expand the court would be a «mistake» in an interview on «Deadline: White House.» MSNBC.
When asked about expanding the size of the Supreme Court, Biden said that if the court were expanded, it would become too politicized.
Biden delivered remarks today at the White House following the Supreme Court’s decision, saying he strongly disagrees with the high court’s ruling.
«I know that today’s court decision is a great disappointment to many people, including me, but we cannot allow the decision to be a permanent setback for the country,» he said. «We need to keep an open door to opportunity. We need to remember that diversity is our strength.»
During his remarks, Biden addressed the misconceptions surrounding affirmative action, arguing that both the nation and «universities are strongest when they are racially diverse.»
He proposed in his speech that universities take into account the adversity a student has overcome when selecting among qualified applicants.
“It means understanding the particular difficulties that each individual student has faced in life, including the racial discrimination that people have faced in their own lives,” Biden said.
He also said he has directed the Department of Education to look at what practices help higher education build a more inclusive and diverse student body, as well as policies that get in the way of those goals, «such as legacy admissions and other systems that expand privilege in place of opportunity.»
The affirmative action rulings arose from two cases before the Court: Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard, and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina.
The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in the UNC case and 6-2 in the Harvard case. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who has served on Harvard’s board of supervisors, was recused.
Lawrence Hurley contributed.