The U.S. Supreme Court appeared ready to restrict the use of race as a factor in college admissions during oral arguments Monday.

The high court is considering admissions programs at the University of North Carolina and Harvard University. After arguments in the North Carolina case, a court majority appeared to side with the group challenging race-conscious admissions, Students for Fair Admissions, according to Politico, the New York Times, Reuters, Law360 and the Washington Post.

Reuters described the arguments as “tense” and said the six justices making up the conservative majority made clear their sympathy with the group challenging the policies.

“College admissions are a zero-sum game,” said Justice Samuel Alito. “And if you give a ‘plus’ to a person who falls within the category of underrepresented minority, but not to somebody else, then you are disadvantaging the other student.”

The Supreme Court’s three liberal justices, on the other hand, “put up a spirited defense of affirmative action,” according to the New York Times."

This article was originally posted in the ABA Journal.

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