President Joe Biden criticized the Supreme Court’s landmark decision against affirmative action in college admissions during a Thursday interview on MSNBC’s “Deadline: White House.”
The ruling, which declared Harvard University’s and the University of North Carolina’s race-conscious admission policies unconstitutional, marked a significant setback for efforts to increase racial minority enrollment at American universities.
Biden proposed colleges should consider the adversities a student has overcome when selecting among qualified applicants. “It means understanding a particular hardship that each individual student has faced in life, including racial discrimination that individuals have faced in their own lives,” he added.
The president also instructed the Department of Education to analyze practices that support higher education in building a more inclusive and diverse student body, as well as policies that hinder those goals. These include “legacy admissions and other systems that expand privilege instead of opportunity.”
Biden also addressed the issue of potentially expanding the size of the Supreme Court, a proposal raised by some on the political left. He argued that such a move could risk politicizing the court permanently, which would be detrimental. “I think if we start the process of trying to expand the court, we’re going to politicize it maybe forever in a way that is not healthy,” he stated.
Apart from the ruling, Biden also spoke on a variety of other topics, including his relationship with the late Sen. John McCain and his thoughts on the changing face of journalism. Recalling his camaraderie with McCain, he said, “We used to argue like hell, but like brothers… we’d end up hugging one another.”
Regarding journalism, he shared concerns about the shift towards personal branding over traditional news reporting.
Biden said, “Talking to a lot of reporters, they tell me — a number of reporters have indicated that there are no editors anymore on what they do… They said, ‘Well, I am not an editorial writer. But you need a brand so people will watch you, listening, because of what they think you are going to say.’”