Despite being short by two justices, the United States Supreme Court managed to form a majority today and reject Abigail Fisher’s argument that she should have been given preferential treatment over people of color in her application to the University of Texas at Austin.
Notably, Fisher did not complain that 47 people were admitted to UT Austin in 2008 with lower test scores than herself. Her lawyer, who is known for pursuing cases aimed at marginalizing nonwhite Americans, narrowly focused his argument on the five of those 47 students who were not white.
You can still hear Fisher make this mendacious argument yourself in a YouTube video that was produced to promote her cause in conservative circles:
There were people in my class with lower grades who weren’t in all the activities I was in, who were being accepted into UT, and the only other difference between us was the color of our skin. I was taught from the time I was a little girl that any kind of discrimination was wrong. And for an institution of higher learning to act this way makes no sense to me. What kind of example does it set for others?
Abigail Fisher did not lose something that she deserved. She was not denied a spot at a prestigious university because of her race. Instead, her lawyer was very specific in arguing that she should have been admitted instead of one of those five nonwhite students, with the underlying assumption being that white students have merit while students of color do not.
Coming from the attorney who successfully gutted the Voting Rights Act, that pleading to formalize white privilege came wrapped in all sorts of happy rhetorical camouflage about the dream of a “color-blind society.”
[Edward] Blum insists he is fighting for civil rights, and he is adamant that he’s not just seeking white plaintiffs with racial axes to grind. “Groups like mine are not looking for Donald Trump-type supporters. We are looking for people who have honest, levelheaded opinions about equal representation. We reject people who are anti-immigrant. We reject people who are anti-Muslim. We reject people who have an antithetical view of American civil rights laws.” He says his efforts to find plaintiffs are no different from what civil rights groups and “the marriage equality people” do.
In other words, Blum looks hard for white people who are too polite for outspoken bigotry, yet still angry enough to resent non-white people. You know — plaintiffs whose pleadings will endear them to the shriveled heart of Justice Samuel Alito:
It’s sadly not surprising that Alito so quickly defaults to the racist assumption that white people are more deserving of their opportunities than people of color. During his confirmation hearings to the court, it was revealed that Alito had been a member Concerned Alumni of Princeton (CAP), a group formed in 1972 to keep women and minorities from attending the Ivy League university.
During Alito’s 2006 hearing, Sen. Ted Kennedy read passages from CAP’s magazine, Prospect.
“People nowadays just don’t seem to know their place,” Kennedy read from on 1983 article. “Everywhere one turns, blacks and Hispanics are demanding jobs simply because they’re black and Hispanic. The physically handicapped are trying to gain equal representation in professional sports. And homosexuals are demanding the government vouchsafe them the right to bear children.”
Alito denied agreement, saying the article was “antithetical” to his views. And yet, his dissent from Thursday betrays him, as he wallows in the same false assumption that people of color are only getting education and job opportunities because of their race, and not because they are just as worthy as white people.
With Justice Kagan recusing herself, it is terrifying to realize that Edward Blum and Abigail Fisher might very well have won if Justice Antonin Scalia was still alive. And it is infuriating that Senate Republicans obstruct the appointment of Merrick Garland to replace Scalia in hopes of helping Blum win his next case.Click here for reuse options!
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