President Biden declared on Thursday that the Supreme Court “is not a normal court” shortly after the conservative majority ended nearly a half-century of affirmative action in college admissions.
In brief remarks at the White House after the 6-to-3 ruling, with the court’s three liberal justices offering blistering dissents, Mr. Biden assailed the decision and said he continued to believe in the need for diversity.
“Because the truth is, we all know it: Discrimination still exists in America,” Mr. Biden told reporters during his remarks in the Roosevelt Room. “Discrimination still exists in America. Discrimination still exists in America. Today’s decision does not change that. It’s a simple fact.”
As he departed the room for a daylong trip to New York City, a reporter asked whether the decision by the justices should make people question the court’s legitimacy and asked, “Is this a rogue court?”
Mr. Biden stopped midstride and appeared to think for a moment before saying, “This is not a normal court.” He did not elaborate.
But in his earlier comments, the president said he strongly disagreed with the majority opinion in the case and urged colleges and universities to continue to try to achieve diversity on their campuses by taking into account the hardships that their applicants have faced in their lives.
“What I propose for consideration is a new standard for colleges taking into account the adversity a student has overcome when selecting among qualified applicants,” he said.
Mr. Biden said that “students first have to be qualified applicants,” but he added that “once that test is met, then adversity should be considered, including a student’s lack of financial means.”
“The kid who faced tougher challenges has demonstrated more grit, more determination, and that should be a factor that colleges should take into account,” he said.