GLMA Voices Profound Disappointment with Supreme Court's Ruling on Affirmative Action

Today’s Supreme Court decision ruled that race can no longer be considered as a factor to university admissions. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, joined by Justices Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson, issued a strong dissent, saying the opinion “rolls back decades of precedent and momentous progress.”

The decision represents a departure from decades of established precedent that has fostered vibrant, diverse environments in colleges and universities across America, where students have thrived by learning and leading alongside one another. Regrettably, today's ruling undermines a policy that was proven to increase access to medical education for historically-excluded communities, paving the way for improved health outcomes through the provision of inclusive and culturally competent health care. This ruling is detrimental to healthcare, undermines the progress of medicine, and poses a direct threat to the well-being of our nation.

In light of the Court's ruling, GLMA urges colleges and universities nationwide to seize this opportunity to expand access to educational opportunities for everyone. It is imperative that institutions critically examine their admissions processes and take affirmative steps to promote inclusivity and equity.

In the following statement, Shail Maingi, MD, the Chair of GLMA's Racial Justice Task Force, emphasizes the crucial need for comprehensive solutions to rectify systemic problems that persist throughout our institutions.

"Condemnation of today's Supreme Court ruling underscores the belief that we must not undermine the valuable progress made in relation to racial justice. While significant strides have been made, there is still much work to be done to eradicate systemic racism and discrimination from various sectors of society. The ruling's impact poses a significant setback to the ongoing efforts to redress historical wrongs and create a fair, just, and inclusive society for all.

Today’s Supreme Court ruling is seen as a disheartening blow to the important values of diversity and the efficacy of programs aimed at addressing structural deficiencies. It is vital that we continue to champion diversity, and advocate for the preservation and expansion of programs that strive to create a more equitable society for all.”

GLMA President Nick Grant, PhD, ABPP, and Executive Director Alex Sheldon, MA, have issued the following joint statement:

GLMA firmly believes that racial equity is a cornerstone for robust and effective educational institutions and the professional workforce. We remain committed to advocating for a society where every individual, regardless of their background or identity, can access the educational opportunities they deserve. 

GLMA’s unwavering commitment to addressing health inequities compels us to reinforce our stance that medical schools must make continuous strides in enrolling talented and highly qualified medical students from historically-excluded communities in these fields. To eliminate health disparities, it is crucial to enhance our dedication, investment, and support for racial equity and inclusion in the health professions. 

In order to enhance health outcomes for all historically excluded communities, it is imperative to empower healthcare providers who possess cultural competence across various identities. GLMA understands that genuine LGBTQ+ health equity is unattainable without simultaneously addressing health inequities for BIPOC communities. For us to create a truly healthy society, we must continue to advocate for racial justice and break down the barriers of systemic racism.”

GLMA is in ideological alignment with President Biden’s statement regarding this court decision that talent, creativity, and hard work are abundant throughout the country, but equal opportunity remains elusive. We will continue to work tirelessly to advance equity, diversity, and inclusion in higher education and beyond.