Updated Jun 29, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Biden: 'I strongly disagree' with SCOTUS affirmative action decision

President Biden makes a statement about the Supreme Court’s decision on affirmative action at the White House on June 29 in Washington, DC. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Biden on Thursday strongly rebuked the Supreme Court's decision dismantling affirmative action at the nation's colleges and universities, but said that he does not support expanding the court to make it more liberal.

Driving the news: “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," Biden told MSNBC's Nicole Wallace in an interview after the decision.

  • Speaking from the White House earlier on Thursday, Biden condemned the ruling. "The court has effectively ended affirmative action in college admissions, and I strongly, strongly disagree with the court's decision."
  • The president called affirmative action "misunderstood," adding that although "talent, creativity and hard work are everywhere across this country," equal opportunity is not.

Of note: As Biden walked away from the podium at the White House, a reporter asked: "Is this a rogue court?"

  • The president stopped in his tracks and paused for a moment before saying, "This is not a normal court," then continued out the door.

Catch up quick: The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that colleges can't explicitly consider applicants' race in admissions. The decision is expected to drastically alter how colleges attract diverse student populations.

Driving the news: In the wake of the court’s decision, Biden called on colleges and universities to expand access to educational opportunities for all.

  • When selecting qualified applicants, the president advised the nation's colleges to consider adversities students have overcome, including their financial means, where they grew up and went to high school and personal experiences of hardship or discrimination, including racial discrimination.
  • "We cannot let this decision be the last word," Biden said. "While the court can render a decision, it cannot change what America stands for."

Editor's note: This story was updated with additional information.

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