City Attorney David Chiu

City Attorney statement on SCOTUS affirmative action decisions

Ruling reverses nearly 50 years of precedent and ignores widespread academic benefits of diverse university campuses

SAN FRANCISCO (June 29, 2023) — City Attorney David Chiu issued the following statement today after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the affirmative action admissions programs at Harvard College and the University of North Carolina are unconstitutional. The ruling, in Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College, overturns nearly 50 years of precedent and disregards widespread research that shows all students benefit academically from more diverse and inclusive college campuses.

City Attorney David Chiu
City Attorney David Chiu

“Once again, this Supreme Court has overturned nearly 50 years of precedent, despite a substantial record demonstrating the lawfulness and benefits of UNC’s and Harvard’s admissions programs.

I am an Asian American Harvard graduate, who would not be in a public policy career but for an affirmative action program. I know from personal experience that students can thrive when given a chance. We know that students at more diverse campuses benefit academically and socially. All students will be negatively impacted by these decisions.

Throughout history, we have seen a cycle of progress towards racial justice immediately followed by backlash. This situation is no different. It is simply another attempt to roll back civil rights and the progress made in recent years.

Despite these rulings, the fearmongering and attempts to drive wedges between communities of color will not succeed. We must continue to address inequities to ensure that all students have real opportunities to access to higher education.”