The Supreme Court of the United States handed down another controversial ruling last month, when it ruled, 6-3, that affirmative action programs in two colleges violated the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

The ruling, which follows other contentious decisions by the court, bans using race as a factor in college admissions, overturning decades of practices designed to provide more opportunity in higher education to qualified students from minority groups.

Although the ruling does not address hiring or employment practices directly, many who specialize in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) issues said that there are a number of implications for employers. Despite a clear demand from employees for a more equitable and inclusive approach to hiring and promotion, the Supreme Court ruling could open the door for lawsuits and challenges to DEI programs and produce a chilling effect for companies seeking to promote diversity.

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