During a hearing in the Supreme Court on Tuesday over affirmative action, Justice Antonin Scalia made a comment about the 14th Amendment, saying it protects everybody and not “only the blacks.” Needless to say, MSNBC’s Al Sharpton was positively shocked by this and had some tough words for the Supreme Court justice.
He asked, “Is this the kind of tone-deaf language we should be hearing in the nation’s highest court in the year 2013?”
Here’s Scalia’s comment in full:
“We’ve held that the 14th Amendment protects all races. I mean, that was the argument in the early years, that it protected only the blacks. But I thought we rejected that.”
I’m not exactly sure what Reverend Al was upset about but I will happily answer his question:
Yes it is.
The Supreme Court of the United States should be tone-deaf. They should be color-blind too. Public opinion is for politicians. Judges weigh evidence and apply facts to law. Appellate and Supreme Court Justices interpret law and determine whether laws are constitutional.
Here is what the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution says:
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
It doesn’t mention skin color.