It’s June, y’all. Which means that if you’re an inveterate Court watcher, like me, you’re steeling yourself for the flood of opinions that precedes the Supreme Court’s summer recess. Typically, the Court breaks at the end of June and the justices set off for far-flung places—perhaps even on a private jet. Ahem. But before they leave for summer break, the Court has to release all of its opinions, and typically, the Court waits until the bitter end to announce its biggest and most consequential decisions.
And this term is no exception. With just two weeks left in June, the Court has, at this writing, about 19 decisions left to dish out. And one of them is a whopper. Yes, the most highly anticipated decision of October Term 2022 is the decision on affirmative action in a pair of consolidated cases, Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard College and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina. The Court heard oral arguments on these two cases back in October—in an almost six-hour marathon session. And it seemed clear from oral arguments that the Court’s 6-3 conservative super-majority had some real doubts about affirmative action. Indeed, it seemed like the entire Court had resigned itself to the end of affirmative action as we know it—and the only real question was whether, and under what limited circumstances, race might be considered at all in higher education admissions decisions.
The decision will be released any day now, and we know that many of you have questions about the case, the Court’s imminent decision, and what they portend for the future of a multiracial democracy. Luckily, I have some answers.