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Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidSanders and Schumer are right: Ellison for DNC chair The Hill's 12:30 Report Hopes rise for law to expand access to experimental drugs MORE (D-Nev.) slammed Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on Thursday after he suggested African-American students do better in "less-advanced schools."
"These ideas that he pronounced yesterday are racist in application if not intent," the Democratic leader said. "I don't know about his intent but it is deeply disturbing to hear a Supreme Court justice endorse racist ideas from the bench on the nation's highest court."
Reid's comments come after Scalia said on Wednesday that "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 slower-track school where they do well."
The Supreme Court was hearing arguments in Fisher v. the University of Texas at Austin. Abigail Fisher, a white woman, sued the university after she was denied admissions, suggesting that the school's consideration of race during the admissions process violates the 14th Amendment.
Reid tied Scalia, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan, to the Republicans' "platform of hate" that the Democratic leader has spoken about repeatedly from the Senate floor.
"As we speak, Donald Trump is proposing to ban Muslim immigration. Other leading candidates are proposing a religious test, tossing around slurs on a daily basis," he said. "And now a Republican-appointed Supreme Court Justice said racist things from the bench."
He added that Scalia's comments don't belong in "the mouths of national figures" and show "just how out of touch he is with the values of this nation."
Reid, separately, took his comparison between Scalia and Trump a step further on Twitter:
Key difference between the ideas endorsed by Trump and Scalia is that Scalia has a robe and a lifetime appointment. https://t.co/y8lJSpRGOO— Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) December 10, 2015