The Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision to ban affirmative action in college admissions on Thursday revealed that Justice Clarence Thomas and his colleague Ketanji Brown Jackson, who was appointed by President Joe Biden and is the court’s newest member, hold divergent views on the topic of race.
Thomas stated in a concurring opinion that Jackson’s attempt to link “the legacy of slavery and the nature of inherited wealth” to disproportionately poor socioeconomic outcomes for blacks in the United States is demonstrated by the way she constructs her dissent.
“This, she claims, locks blacks into a seemingly perpetual inferior caste. Such a view is irrational; it is an insult to individual achievement and cancerous to young minds seeking to push through barriers, rather than consign themselves to permanent victimhood,” he wrote.
Thomas continued by disparaging black achievements in the country and refuting Jackson’s “race-based worldview,” which the majority of Democrats share.
“Individuals are the sum of their unique experiences, challenges, and accomplishments. What matters is not the barriers they face, but how they choose to confront them,” he wrote.
He acknowledged the “social and economic ravages” that black Americans had endured in the past, but went on to express his conviction that, in the aftermath of the decision, the country would “live up to its principles” of a colorblind society.
Despite being patently illegal on its face, the use of race in college admissions has been commonplace since the 1960s civil rights movement. According to the six conservative justices of the court, the practice violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.
John Roberts, chief justice of the United States, wrote: “Many universities have erroneously concluded for far too long that the defining characteristic of a person is not overcoming obstacles, developing skills, or gaining knowledge, but rather the color of their skin.” Eliminating racial discrimination requires its total eradication.
The case is the consequence of legal actions taken against the race-based admissions policies of Harvard University and the University of North Carolina.
“Today, and despite a lengthy interregnum, the Constitution prevails,” Thomas said, in a rare bench reading.
“I write separately to offer an originalist defense of the colorblind Constitution; to explain further the flaws of the Court’s Grutter jurisprudence; to clarify that all forms of discrimination based on race–including so-called affirmative action–are prohibited under the Constitution; and to emphasize the pernicious effects of all such discrimination,” he added.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor also recited her dissenting opinion to the majority ruling. CONTINUE READING…