Congressional Black Caucus Chairman G. K. Butterfield Responds to Comments from U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and Calls for His Recusal from Fisher Case

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressional Black Caucus Chairman G. K. Butterfield released the following statement following comments made by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in the Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin (Fisher II) U.S. Supreme Court case and has called for his recusal:

“Justice Scalia’s comments were disgusting, inaccurate, and insulting to African Americans, and his statements undervalue the historic achievements we have made.

“Thousands of black Americans have excelled in top tier universities.  African Americans have achieved positions of prominence–including Justice Scalia’s colleague, Justice Clarence Thomas.

“As a former trial and appellate judge for fifteen years, I know that inflammatory statements from the bench, especially from Supreme Court Justices, are damaging to the public’s confidence in our courts and reflect negatively on the administration of justice.  Justice Scalia’s bias toward the plaintiffs was clear when he stated, “maybe [the University of Texas] ought to have fewer” African Americans.  He has drawn a conclusion in the case before hearing all of the oral arguments and any deliberation following those arguments.

“Justice Scalia has removed any presumption of impartiality and should recuse himself from the case.  His comments were improper and warrant review by the Judicial Conference of the United States to consider whether these comments affect the public’s confidence of the courts and the integrity and independence of judges.”

Last month, several CBC Members signed onto a brief in support of the University of Texas at Austin’s affirmative action program.  The amicus brief can be found here.