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Scalia: Affirmative action doesn’t help ‘black scientists’

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Updated: Wednesday, December 9, 2015, 1:03 PM

‘Most of the black scientists in this country do not come from the most advanced schools,’ Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a noted opponent of affirmative action said, according to reporters present for the case.Alex Wong/Getty Images

‘Most of the black scientists in this country do not come from the most advanced schools,’ Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a noted opponent of affirmative action said, according to reporters present for the case.

What a supremely outrageous thing to say.

During oral arguments in a critical case about affirmative action Wednesday, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia suggested that “most black scientists in the U.S.” benefit from not being admitted into top-tier programs.

“They’re being pushed into schools that are too advanced for them,” Scalia said of African-American students accepted under affirmative action programs.

“Most of the black scientists in this country do not come from the most advanced schools,” Scalia, a noted opponent of affirmative action said, according to reporters present for the case.

Scalia added that many such African-American scientists actually benefitted from a “slower track.”

“It does not benefit African-Americans” who don’t succeed academically in schools that accepted them under affirmative action policies, he reportedly said.

The case in front of the Supreme Court, Fisher v. University of Texas-Austin, was brought by a white Texas woman who is challenging the use of race in college admissions. It is the second time in three years that the High Court has heard her case.

Abigail Fisher, the woman bringing the case, has been out of college since 2012, but the justices’ renewed interest in her case is a sign that the court’s conservative majority is poised to cut back, or even end, affirmative action in higher education.

Their skepticism about it was on display during more than 90 minutes in a packed courtroom.

“What unique perspective does a minority student bring to a physics class?” Chief Justice John Roberts asked at one point, challenging a part of Texas’ argument that says their program is needed to increase diversity at the classroom level.

The arguments Wednesday focused mainly on whether the University of Texas’ flagship campus in Austin has compelling reasons to consider race among other factors when it evaluates applicants for about a quarter of its freshman class.

Fisher, who was not accepted by the university, has claimed its policy to use race as criteria for admissions is unconstitutional.

She first brought the case in 2012, but the case ended inconclusively with a tepid decision that ordered a lower court review. The federal appeals court in New Orleans has twice upheld the Texas admissions program and rejected Fisher’s appeal.

The justices on Wednesday appeared to rehash many of the same arguments they discussed three years ago in the case.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, crucial to the outcome, said Wednesday there was information that “we should know and don’t know.”

With News Wire Services 

Tags:
supreme court ,
texas ,
university of texas


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