The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday banned the use of race and ethnicity in university admissions, dealing a major blow to a decades-old practice that boosted educational opportunities for African Americans and other minorities.

One year after overturning the guarantee of a woman's right to have an abortion, the court's conservative majority again demonstrated its readiness to scrap liberal policies set in law since the 1960s.

The ruling against "affirmative action," delivered by a court heavily influenced by three justices appointed by former U.S. President Donald Trump during his presidency, drew cheers from conservatives but was blasted by progressives.