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Justice Scalia sticks foot in mouth, touting a brief’s concept of sending black students to “less-advanced schools”

Fairfax County/Northern Virginia criminal defense lawyer on Justice Scalia's foot-in-mouth in Fisher v. University of Texas

Dec 09, 2015 Justice Scalia sticks foot in mouth, touting a brief’s concept of sending black students to “less-advanced schools”

I have never wanted Justice Antonin Scalia on the United States Supreme Court. Despite his strong intellect and sometimes voting on the side of justice even for criminal defendants in Sixth Amendment confrontation clause cases, he defers heavily to the remaining givernmental branches on the death penalty and is not in much favor of giving other teeth to the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, and that is just for a start.

President Ronald Reagan nominated Scalia for the Supreme Court in 1986, and he remains on the bench twenty-nine years later, more than twenty-six years after Reagan left the White House. Consider that before you vote in the next presidential primary and general election. I anticipate that the next president will nominate replacements for at least one or two vacancies on the Supreme Court.

Even though I have been deeply irritated many times by Justice Scalia’s past comments, today he outdid himseld in turning my stomach by severely sticking his foot in his mouth on race relations during oral argument in the Fisher v. University of Texas affirmative action case, by touting a legal brief’s purported claim that “most of the black scientists in this country don’t come from schools like the University of Texas” and favorably referening the brief”s underlining the option for black students to attend “less advanced schools.” Oral argument transc. at 67.

Here is Justice Scalia’s full quote:

“There are — there are those who contend that it does not benefit African-Americans to — get them into the University of Texas where they do not do well, as opposed to having them go to a less-advanced school, a less — a slower¬ track school where they do well. One of — one of the briefs pointed out that — that most of the – most of the black scientists in this country don’t come from schools like the University of Texas… They come from lesser schools where they do not feel that they’re — that they’re being pushed ahead in — in classes that are too — fast for them.”

How can Justice Scalia ever dig himself out from appearing with his Fisher oral argument comments to be an unapologetic racist who does not belong on the Supreme Court?

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