Affirmative action is the latest issue at stake in the United States' increasingly partisan culture wars.
The conservative majority Supreme Court heard arguments in a case Monday that threatens to overturn policies that allow universities to consider race when weighing admissions. The case was filed by Students for Fair Admissions and concerns admissions practices at the University of North Carolina and Harvard University. 
The group argues that using race in admissions is unconstitutional. The universities argue that eliminating the use of race would make it difficult to achieve a diverse student body, representative of America.
The Supreme Court has upheld race-based admissions twice, in 1993 and 2016. That was before three conservative justices, appointed by former President Donald Trump, took the bench and rebalanced the makeup of the Court.
During opening arguments on Monday, the justices seemed split along political lines. Conservative Justice Samuel Alito argued that minority applicants get to "start five yards closer to the finish line" in the race of college admissions, according to the Associated Press. Whereas liberal Justice Elena Kagan said that minority enrollment in colleges and universities will drop without affirmative action, giving minorities less opportunities.
Most adults in the U.S. believe race and ethnicity should not factor into college admissions. That includes 79 percent of white adults and 59 percent of Black adults, according to Pew Research. Among Republicans, 87 percent don’t believe race should be a factor, and believe race and ethnicity should not factor into college admissions. Sixty-two percent of Democrats agree. 
Nine U.S. states already prohibit the use of race in admission: Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, and Washington. 
Americans will be watching closely, following the Supreme Court’s controversial decision to overturn Roe v. Wade abortion protections in June. A decision is not expected until at least late spring 2023.