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Students’ Protests May Play Role in Supreme Court Case on Race in Admissions

WASHINGTON — As student protests over racial injustice are exploding at campuses across the nation, the Supreme Court is preparing to hear a major case that could put an end to racial preferences in college admissions.

The tense atmosphere on campuses may alter the legal dynamic when the case is argued on Dec. 9. “It’s quite possible,” said Michael C. Dorf, a law professor at Cornell, “that the way the court frames the discussion will be colored by the justices’ views of the campus protests.”

The justices are almost certainly paying close attention to the protests, including those at Princeton, where three of them went to college, and atYale, where three of them went to law school. At both schools, there have been accusations that protesters, many of them black, have tried to suppress the speech of those who disagree with them. Others welcomed the protests as part of what they called a healthy debate.