NACAC Weighs in on Judicial Nominations

David Hawkins

Arlington, VA (July 17, 2018) — With the United States Senate considering several judicial nominations, including that of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United States, the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) outlined the qualities it believes nominees should have to be confirmed.

Judicial rulings can have a profound impact on the lives of students and their families. Their decisions influence equitable access to postsecondary education, learning environments for all students, the physical safety and security of students, and the degree to which our educational systems remain free of discrimination. Because of this responsibility, NACAC encourages senators to be diligent while evaluating those individuals who are being considered for a lifetime appointment to a court.  

Specifically, senators should support judicial candidates who recognize that all students, regardless of their backgrounds or disabilities, should have equitable access to a high-quality public education. Discussions of a “meritocratic” educational system are fundamentally flawed if not balanced with the acknowledgement that millions of US students who are capable of academic success go underserved due to lack of sufficient funding for public schools.   

Furthermore, judicial nominees should recognize that a diverse student body benefits all involved, and that the careful and limited consideration of race and ethnicity in the college admission process can be critical to achieving that goal at some institutions.  

Judges should also uphold policies that seek to protect students from discrimination based on their race, ethnicity, creed, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, age, political affiliation, national origin, or disability.  

Lastly, nominees should recognize that the right to vote, which has come under increasing threat for many Americans, is a cornerstone of a democratic society. Targeting voters for disenfranchisement risks further alienating and eroding trust among marginalized populations that educators are attempting to serve. We encourage the Senate to oppose any nominee who would defend an effort to make it more difficult to vote in the United States.   


The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), founded in 1937, is an organization of more than 15,000 professionals from around the world dedicated to serving students as they make choices about pursuing postsecondary education. NACAC is committed to maintaining high standards that foster ethical and social responsibility among those involved in the transition process, as outlined in the association's Code of Ethics and Professional Practices.

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