Black SCOTUS Justices Go Toe To Toe In Affirmative Action Opinions

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Justices Clarence Thomas and Ketanji Brown Jackson wrote sharp, opposing opinions, criticizing each other by name, as the Supreme Court struck down affirmative action in college admissions.

On Thursday (June 29), the majority-conservative Supreme Court ruled that admission policies considering race at the University of North Carolina and Harvard were unconstitutional, bringing an end to affirmative action.

Though conservative Justice John Roberts authored the majority opinion, Thomas penned a 58-page concurring opinion in which he took aim at Jackson and her dissenting opinion, The Guardian reports.

“Rather than focusing on individuals as individuals, her dissent focuses on the historical subjugation of black Americans, invoking statistical racial gaps to argue in favor of defining and categorizing individuals by their race,” Thomas wrote in his opinion. “As she sees things, we are all inexorably trapped in a fundamentally racist society, with the original sin of slavery and the historical subjugation of black Americans still determining our lives today.

“Worse still, Justice Jackson uses her broad observations about statistical relationships between race and select measures of health, wealth, and well-being to label all blacks as victims," he continued. "Her desire to do so is unfathomable to me."

Jackson and Justice Sonia Sotomayor both wrote their own dissenting opinions, which were joined by Justice Elena Kagan. In her dissent, Jackson referred to Thomas by name three times in one footnote.

“Justice Thomas’s prolonged attack responds to a dissent I did not write in order to assail an admissions program that is not the one UNC has crafted," Jackson penned. “He does not dispute any historical or present fact about the origins and continued existence of race-based disparity (nor could he), yet is somehow persuaded that these realities have no bearing on a fair assessment of ‘individual achievement’.

“Justice Thomas ignites too many more straw men to list, or fully extinguish, here," she continued. "The takeaway is that those who demand that no one think about race (a classic pink-elephant paradox) refuse to see, much less solve for, the elephant in the room – the race-linked disparities that continue to impede achievement of our great Nation’s full potential."

The ruling on affirmative action came just a day before the Supreme Court moved to kill President Joe Biden's student loan forgiveness plan and side with the Christian graphic artist who refused to design wedding websites for same-sex couples.

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