NLG Statement Condemning SCOTUS Attacks on Affirmative Action, Queer Rights

This week, the Supreme Court escalated ongoing attacks on marginalized people in its decisions on affirmative action, queer discrimination, and student loan forgiveness. All of these cases are part of a harrowing destruction of rights and protections championed by civil rights advocates for over more than 50 years. The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) is outraged by each of these decisions, and we encourage all of our allies to look to the leadership of grassroots movements as we forge a path forward together.

It is not a coincidence that the Supreme Court rendered these decisions amidst escalating state violence against queer and trans communities and Black, Indigenous, and other people of color in the United States. What’s happening now goes hand-in-hand with legislation banning school discussions of racist systems and histories, stripping trans people’s access to medical care, and expanding militarized policing.

Effectively ending many affirmative action policies and refusing to mitigate the student loan crisis means that institutions of higher education will be whiter and richer. Though we know that higher education itself is a method of maintaining classist and racist stratification, we also know that these institutions have immense power over political, social, and economic power distribution. Systematically excluding marginalized people perpetuates white supremacy both within and outside of higher education, especially when schools are banned from accurately teaching the histories of racism and genocide created by these very same systems.

Further, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a religious right to discriminate against queer people amidst a violent legislative attack on the very existence of trans people. The fascist right-wing often justifies these policies with the same regressive appeals to Christian doctrine that underpin the attacks on reproductive autonomy. While these bills criminalize transition and drag in medical and public spaces, the Supreme Court ruling emboldens individuals and businesses to carry out anti-queer exclusion and discrimination.

These interconnected fascist efforts are infuriating and terrifying, but they point toward a truth that can make our movements stronger: we must struggle for liberation together. From grassroots activists to progressive attorneys, solidarity is a central part of the fight to redefine our own systems to be better for everybody, not just for those with power. NLG will continue fighting alongside movements for liberation until we are all free.

As abolitionist Mariame Kaba wrote, “Let this radicalize you rather than lead you to despair.”

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