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The U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) heard arguments Monday in favor of and against affirmative action policies, which make race a factor in admissions to both public and private universities.

The challenges come in response to admissions policies at the University of North Carolina (UNC) and Harvard, which consider race.

Conservative activist and founder of Students for Fair Admissions Edward Blum is behind both cases and suggests the policies discriminate against white and Asian people and are, therefore, unconstitutional. 

In the last 20 years, SCOTUS has upheld admissions programs that take race into consideration twice, and lower courts upheld both programs at UNC and Harvard.

Blum backed a case against the University of Texas at Austin in 2015, in which SCOTUS upheld the use of race in the university's admission process but ruled that the Texas program was unique and other schools would be held to a high standard if they wanted to factor race in their admissions policies.

According to Ballotpedia, eight states have banned affirmative action in their university admissions, including Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma and Washington. Alabama is not on this list but has no documented public four year colleges considering race, according to its data.

Only 18.9% of public four year colleges nationally consider race in admissions. Ballotpedia did not have data about private colleges.

University of Alabama (UA) Communications Director Deidre Stalnaker said that UA does not discriminate based on race in its decisions, so it will remain unaffected regardless of SCOTUS's decision.

1819 News reached out to Auburn University for comment as well and received no response.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email will.blakely@1819news.com or find him on Twitter and Facebook.

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