Supreme Court Justice and member of the conservative Scumbag 5 Thugs in Robes on the Supreme Court certainly had no problem letting his racist flag fly.
Do black students matter to Justice Antonin Scalia?
During oral arguments on Wednesday in Fisher v. University of Texas, acontentious affirmative action case, the conservative justice seemed to call their abilities into question.
“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,” Scalia said, “as opposed to having them go to a less-advanced school … a slower-track school where they do well.”
Scalia was engaging former U.S. Solicitor General Gregory Garre, who is now representing the University of Texas at Austin as the school defends its ongoing consideration of race as one of many factors in its admissions program.
Pointing to a brief the court received before oral arguments, Scalia noted “most of the black scientists in this country don’t come from schools like the University of Texas.”
Garre tried to interject, but the justice continued. “They come from lesser schools where they do not feel that … they’re being pushed ahead in classes that are too fast for them,” Scalia said.
Again, Garre tried to respond as Scalia added that he was “just not impressed” by arguments that UT Austin suffers from lower minority enrollment. “I don’t think it stands to reason that it’s a good thing for the University of Texas to admit as many blacks as possible,” the justice said.
By then, Garre’s time at the podium was almost up, but he closed his rebuttal to the justice by emphasizing the importance of diversity on campus.
“Frankly, I don’t think the solution to the problems with student body diversity can be to set up a system in which not only are minorities going to separate schools, they’re going to inferior schools,” Garre said. “I think what experience shows — at Texas, California and Michigan — is that now is not the time and this is not the case to roll back student body diversity in America.”
Scalia’s argument is duplicitous for a number of reasons. First UT Austin is hardly an “elite” school. It’s a state university, with a charter of educating the students in Texas, and is part of a state-wide system similar to that of any of the more advanced state such as California, Virginia. It is no MIT or Harvard. Which doesn’t mean it is a bad school, and is generally ranked in the top 10 or so State Universities. Second, UT Austin’s graduation rate is 20% lower than that of comparable state schools for all students (UVa is over 70%). Lastly, graduation rate more closely follows income than race. What Texas found was that there was no difference between high income students and low in terms of abilities – and that they could impact the difference in performance though lower class sizes and coaching for the first two years to bring grades and graduation rate in line. At least 9 Universities have graduation rates of 90%, in today’s world, having a graduation rate of only 50% is the school’s failure – not a failure of the students. UT Austin knows that and has put programs in place to try and fix it.