The U.S. Supreme Court is again considering the issue of affirmative action and conservative Justice Antonin Scalia is facing backlash for his comments about black students.
Scalia commented that "there are those who contend" that black students might thrive at “a less-advanced school, a slower-track school” while the Supreme Court discussed affirmative action. Scalia’s remarks were slammed by congressional Democrats and White House officials.
“Justice Scalia’s comments were disgusting, inaccurate and insulting to African-Americans, and his statements undervalue the historic achievements we have made,” Democratic Rep. G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina, the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, told Politico.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada used the word “racist” four times when discussing Scalia’s remarks. “These ideas that he pronounced yesterday are racist in application,” he said. “It is deeply disturbing to hear a Supreme Court justice endorse racist ideas from the bench on the nation’s highest court.”
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White House press secretary Josh Earnest had similarly blistering remarks. “I think the comments articulated by Justice Scalia represent quite a different view than the priorities and values that President (Barack) Obama has spent his career talking about,” he said, according to The Hill.
Earnest noted that Obama, who is an alumni of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, has devoted much of his political career to “opening the doors to a college education for every student in America.”