Justice Clarence Thomas compares affirmative action to segregation

The Supreme Court heard arguments this week on whether colleges can use racial preferences when admitting applicants. While a decision won’t come until next year, Justice Clarence Thomas has already made clear where he stands. 

Comparisons made

According to the Blaze, Thomas’ comments came on Wednesday during an exchange with North Carolina Solicitor General Ryan Park, who is defending the use of race by the University of North Carolina when deciding who to let in.

At point Thomas asked Park to explain why increased racial diversity is necessary to improve education at the college.

“The mechanism there is that it reduces groupthink and people have longer and more sustained disagreement, and that leads to a more efficient outcome,” Park replied.

The conservative justice was obviously unimpressed, saying, “I don’t put much stock in that because I’ve heard similar arguments in favor of segregation too.”

Thomas was raised in Georgia at a time when Jim Crow laws imposed racial segregation and restricted the rights of African Americans.

Thomas skeptical about diversity

Moreover, Thomas expressed skepticism over diversity as a concept, saying, “Mr. Park, I’ve heard the word ‘diversity’ quite a few times, and I don’t have a clue what it means. It seems to mean everything for everyone.”

The Blaze noted that Thomas long expressed hostility towards the use of racial preferences, declaring in Fisher v. University of Texas, “It is irrelevant under the Fourteenth Amendment whether segregated or mixed schools produce better leaders.”

Constitutional law expert Jonathan Turley recently told Fox News that he believes the Supreme Court is almost certain to find that racial preferences are unconstitutional.

“The challengers clearly had a better day before the court,” Turley said as he pointed out that none of the Court’s conservative justices seemed sympathetic to the practice.