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Clarence Thomas Says Affirmative Action Is Unconstitutional

The Constitution is colorblind according to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and not just of the red/green variety. Addressing leaders of historically black colleges yesterday, Thomas said, "Just from a constitutional standpoint, I think we're going to run into problems if we say the Constitution says we can consider race sometimes."

He added that African-Americans are better served by programs that don't consider race, than affirmative action. It "has become this mantra and there almost has become this secular religiosity about it. I think it almost trumps thinking." In his autobiography My Grandfather's Son he told with resentment that he felt he was admitted to Yale because of his race, and imposed the most rigorous course load he could just to prove his real worth.

Thomas has voted on the court to outlaw the use of race in college admissions and in determining public school enrollment, and said yesterday, "My suggestion would be to stop the buzz words and to focus more on the practical effect of what we're doing. . . I can tell you when you have fudge words, it leaves a lot of room for mischief. People have a tendency to read their personal opinions into fudge words. You want, when it comes to the issue of race, absolute words."

Are Thomas' words absolute enough for you? Is he right?


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