The Supreme Court handed down several historic judgments before it ended its session, including one that effectively ended affirmative action in college admissions.
Justice Clarence Thomas, who agreed with the 6-3 decision invalidating the admissions processes at UNC and Harvard, read his concurring opinion from the bench.
Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson wrote a dissenting opinion that disagreed with the majority’s ruling.
Democratic New York representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spoke out against the concurring decision written by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on using race in college admissions. For Ocasio-Cortez, Thomas’s criticism of Justice Jackson was “profoundly disrespectful.”
Ocasio-Cortez commented during an interview with CNN’s “State of the Union” anchor Dana Bash on Sunday.
AOC said that Thomas was incredibly condescending when he implied that Justice Jackson’s conclusion was less well-reasoned.
Ocasio-Cortez was questioned about the “blistering debate” on the constitutionality of affirmative action in college admissions between Thomas and Jackson, the only two Black justices on the Supreme Court.
Thomas’s rebuttal to Jackson’s argument includes words in which she was criticized for seeing all Black people as victims due to the statistical correlations between race and material conditions.
In defense of Justice Jackson, AOC said the available evidence supported the judge’s decision. She said Thomas’s comments were rude to his coworker and full of broad generalizations about her.
On the other hand, AOC commended Justice Jackson’s dissent, arguing that, unlike Thomas’s, it was grounded in the facts of the case at hand. She characterized it as a sophisticated argument against Thomas’ interpretation of the evidence.
Thomas said that by making broad assumptions about the associations between blackness and various health measures, wealth, and happiness, Justice Jackson casts an unfavorable light on all African-Americans. He said he didn’t understand why she would do it because it’s a slap in the face to the idea of personal accomplishment and poison for the minds of young people who are anxious to forge new territory. Thomas concluded that they can’t blame the color of their skin for any good or bad fortune that comes their way.
From AOC’s perspective, Thomas’s words were “quite insulting” to Jackson.