Justice Scalia Suggests Black College Students Are 'Slower' And Do Better At 'Less-Advanced' Schools

Val Powell

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia made a statement on Wednesday stating that black students may fare better academically at lower performing schools compared to their white counterparts.

He also suggested that there should be fewer black students in the University of Texas.

— Mother Jones (@MotherJones) December 9, 2015

Incoming freshmen that are qualified for the Top Ten Percent program will be accepted regardless of race and other social factors. As part of the 25 percent, the complainant, a white student named Abigail Fisher, is challenging the "holistic" process by which the university refused to admit her when she applied in 2008 because of her race.

— JP SchnapperCasteras (@jpscasteras) December 9, 2015

In contrast, Justice Scalia said that black students do better in "less-advanced" and "slower-track" schools because they are "not pushed ahead in classes that are too fast for them." Scalia added that he is not impressed by the fact that the university has a small black student population, and argued that it should be smaller. "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," Justice Scalia said.

— Brookings (@BrookingsInst) March 11, 2013

"If this court rules that the University of Texas can't consider race, we know exactly what will happen: diversity will plummet, especially among African Americans," said Garre.

Meanwhile, Carrie Severino, who is chief counsel for the Judicial Crisis Network, defended Justice Scalia and said that he was not saying blacks are inferior students.

Severino pointed out that Justice Scalia was referring to the "mismatch theory" that was made popular by two authors, Stuart Taylor and Richard Sander.

"The idea is that if a student is admitted to a school they are not academically prepared for then they will not perform up to their own potential," Severino said.

— ShakariSBriggs (@ShakariSBriggs) December 9, 2015

Sander, who is a UCLA law professor, has also submitted a summary of his "mismatch theory" to the court for the Texas case.

The theory does not necessarily say that white students are better than black students because they are unable to keep up with the school's academic requirements, as Justice Scalia seems to imply. However, the "mismatch" begins when a student has fewer preparations in his early education years due to financial incapacity and other factors, compared to a privileged student better-prepared to handle such situations.

[Image by Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images]