While Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling on affirmative action won’t change the way Arizona’s public universities conduct the application process, the decision will impact high schoolers in Arizona who are applying for universities out of state.

KGUN 9’s Heidi Alagha spoke to Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne after today’s ruling. He say’s he support’s the high court’s decision to overturn the precedent that’s been in place decades.

Horne called the decision long overdue, citing Proposition 107 an Arizona ballot measure from 2010which voters passed to effectively ban the consideration of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin in any application or employment selection process.

The new Supreme Court ruling addressed cases brought against Harvard and the University of North Carolina by activist group Students for Fair Admissions. Ultimately the court found affirmative action practices in violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

Both universities, however, say race is only one of several factors admissions offices take into account.

According to Horne, the impact the ruling will have will be simply to bring the focus back to education:

“I’ve been working really hard to improve academics in the schools and to get rid of distractions from academics. I want students to be taught bell-to-bell, the academics. If the students study and are judged on their individual basis, they should be able to get into a good college. They have to study. They can’t get in just because of what race they were born into. They have to get it because they study, and deserve it.

Southern Arizona’s two Congressional representatives also shared their views, matching their respective party lines:

The result of this case can be directly tied to individuals who have bankrolled multiple lawsuits to dismantle the <i>Voting Rights Act</i>. Race has never been a defining feature in admissions, and affirmative action has only ever given higher education institutions the opportunity to holistically consider students backgrounds, their contributions and how they will enhance the college experience. The far-right Supreme Courts decision to gut affirmative action is devastating and inconsistent with previous court findings that have found race-based admissions policies can be implemented in a legal and constitutional manner. It threatens the progress weve made to provide equal access, opportunity and diverse learning environments for all students. As we move forward, its critical that we in Congress act to build and support an education system that demands equity in admissions, achieves student body diversity, dispels stereotypes, and ensures a high-quality and accessible education for all. ~Rep. Ral M. Grijalva (D-07)

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We are now looking at an education system without affirmative action for the first time in 40 years. I believe we can have a system free from discrimination while promoting diversity as we emphasize merit-based qualifications. ~Rep. Juan&nbsp;Ciscomani (R-06)

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