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Supreme Court Will Hear Challenge to Affirmative Action at Harvard and U.N.C.

The Supreme Court agreed on Monday to decide whether race-conscious admissions programs at Harvard and the University of North Carolina are lawful, raising serious doubts about the future of affirmative action in higher education.

The court has repeatedly upheld similar programs, most recently in 2016. But the court’s membership has tilted right in recent years, and its new conservative supermajority is almost certain to view the challenged programs with skepticism, imperiling more than 40 years of precedent that said race could be used as one factor among many in evaluating applicants.

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