White House rebukes Scalia comments

White House rebukes Scalia comments
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The White House rebuked Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on Thursday for suggesting black students do not belong at the nation’s top colleges and universities. 

“I think the comments articulated by Justice Scalia represent quite a different view than the priorities and values that President Obama has spent his career talking about,” said White House spokesman Josh Earnest. 

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Earnest said that Obama, who graduated from Columbia University and Harvard Law School, has spent his career in the Senate and White House “opening the doors to a college education for every student in America.”

Scalia earned scorn from Democrats for saying during oral arguments on a case challenging affirmative action that black students do better at “less-advanced schools” that are on “slower tracks.” 

Scalia, a skeptic of systems that consider an applicant’s race as part of college entry decisions, drew notice to a friend-of-the-court brief in a case challenging the University of Texas’s admissions program. The brief said that most black scientists do not come from highly selective schools.

“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,” he said Wednesday.

A lawyer representing the University of Texas in Wednesday’s arguments said the Supreme Court had already rejected the idea in that brief.

Scalia was appointed by former President Reagan. Wednesday’s arguments concerned Fisher v. the University of Texas at Austin, which stems from the lawsuit brought by a white student against the school after she was denied admission in 2008.