10 Times Justice Scalia Told Minorities to Take a Seat
Late Supreme Court judge's deplorable civil rights record.
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Conservative Crusader - Justice Antonin Scalia died on Saturday at a luxury hunting lodge in Texas at the age of 79, and the space he vacated on the Supreme Court will likely spark a partisan dogfight and change the face — and fate — of the 2016 election. It's no secret that Scalia has been reviled by the left and anyone who cares about civil rights and racial justice, called intolerant and regressive by his critics. From rejecting the Voting Rights Act to his horrific implication that affirmative action sets up "academically unprepared" Black students for failure, here's a look back at Scalia's track record on matters of race and equality:(Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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Richmond v. J.A. Croson and Co (1989) - Scalia voted against the City of Richmond’s minority set-aside program, which would require a certain percentage of contracts to go to minority business enterprises. Richmond, at the time, had a Black population of over 50 percent but had set a goal of only 30 percent for minority-owned business. Due to discrimination in Virginia, this program had resulted in a dramatic lack of access for minority-owned business. In his ruling, Scalia essentially stating that he saw nothing wrong with the current discriminatory practices in Richmond.(Photo: Paul Morigi/Getty Images)
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Adarand Constructors, Inc v. Pena (1995) - In this case, a construction contractor sued the Department of Transportation after it lost a bid for a highway contract to a minority-owned company. Scalia concurred with the Court’s Judgment, which held that racial classifications, imposed by federal government, must be analyzed under a "standard of strict scrutiny" — in other words, affirmative action must only be utilized for "the most compelling reasons." Scalia, it seems, would have taken "strict scrutiny" a step further and gotten rid of affirmative action altogether. In his opinion, he wrote, "In my view, government can never have a compelling interest in discriminating on the basis of race in order to make up for past racial discrimination in the opposite direction."(Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
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Grutter v. Bollinger (2003) - Scalia mocked the Court’s majority finding that the University of Michigan Law School was entitled to use affirmative action in their admissions process to promote diversity and increase “cross-racial understanding.” Scalia also argued that the University’s “plus” system was an unconstitutional quota system. Scalia argued that if the University of Michigan Law School could not maintain its’ high level of prestige and admit minority students under a race-neutral law then the "Law School should be forced to choose between its classroom aesthetic and its exclusionary admissions system." This was part of a long-term battle that eventually ended in the state of Michigan abolishing affirmative-action practices.(Photo: Riccardo S. Savi/WireImage)
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Arizona Et Al v. United Sates (2012) - This state law intended to punish unauthorized immigrants, and even thought it did not pass, Scalia dissented with passion. The bill was accused of violating the Bill of Rights and encouraging racial profiling. When the case reached SCOTUS, they were discussing four provisions within the bill, stating that that it was illegal to enter the US without registering, it was illegal to work as an unregistered citizen and that Arizona law enforcement had a right to stop, arrest, or detain someone they suspect of being an unregistered immigrant — racial profiling at its worst. Scalia was the only Justice to vote that all four provisions were justified and should have remained active in the bill. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action (2014) - Two years after the landmark case Grutter V. Bollinger, the state of Michigan voted to change the state’s constitution to make affirmative action illegal not just in educational institutions, but also for public employment, and public contracting purposes. Unsurprisingly, Scalia voted to uphold the ban on affirmative action in college admissions in Michigan and extend it to other areas of public life. While those in dissent argued that this clause in the Constitution was further proof of the state’s attempt to exclude racial minorities from the political process, Scalia concurred with the state’s changes, answering questions by quoting himself from Grutter V. Bollinger saying, “the Constitution [forbids] government discrimination on the basis of race, and state-provided education is no exception."(Photo: AP Phot...
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Shelby County v. Holder (2013) - Scalia ruled in the majority to effectively strike down the Voting Right Acts of 1965, freeing 9 states, mostly in the south, to change their election laws. Scalia said he wanted to rescue congress from the trap of being afraid to vote against “racial entitlement.” The majority argued that the Voting Rights Act was "based on 40 year-old facts having no logical relationship to the present day,” essentially arguing that protecting minority’s right to vote was no longer necessary because in their mind, racism no longer exists. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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NAACP v. Husted (2014) - Scalia helped Ohio in their attempt to delay a judges ruling to lengthen the state’s early voting schedule. This crucial “Golden Week,” as Ohioans call it, gives those who work jobs with inflexible work schedules (as many with low-income jobs do) the opportunity to vote regardless of whether or not they are scheduled to work on voting days. Scalia's victory here has been equated with supporting voter suppression.(Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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Alabama Legislative Black Caucus v. Alabama (2015) - Scalia voted a dissenting opinion when the SCOTUS said a lower court must take another look at whether or not Alabama’s legislature relied too heavily on race when it redrew voting districts in a way that Black leaders say limited minority voting power. Scalia felt that there was no need for a review, once again having the effect of reversing the Voting Rights Act of 1965.(Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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Fisher vs. University of Texas (2015) - In his most controversial — and downright offensive — descent to date, Scalia created controversy nationally when he suggested that affirmative action would harm students that were not "academically prepared" to enter a challenging scholastic environment. Scalia said, "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." Calls for an apology and for lawmakers to denounce his comments were widespread.(Photo: Liaison)
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Troy Davis Petition (2009) - Troy Anthony Davis, who was on death row for two decades for a murder he says he didn't commit, was given a rare opportunity to challenge his conviction by the Supreme Court in 2009 after seven of the witnesses against him recanted their testimony. Justice Scalia, however, criticized his colleagues for thinking that mere innocence is grounds to overturn a conviction: "This Court has never held that the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant who has had a full and fair trial but is later able to convince a habeas court that he is 'actually' innocent," he wrote. "Quite to the contrary, we have repeatedly left that question unresolved, while expressing considerable doubt that any claim based on alleged 'actual innocence' is constitutionally cognizable." To make it clear: Scalia didn't see any problem with send...
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