Posted BY: Janet Levy

One of the four dissenting judges in the 2003 Grutter v. Bollinger case, which resulted in the allowance of race quotas in student admissions, was Justice Clarence Thomas, a descendant of slaves and himself a beneficiary of affirmative action. Outraged by the patronizing attitude of teachers and classmates, and driven by the values of hard work, merit, and pride instilled in him by his grandfather, he had come to believe, over the course of his inspiring life, that quotas are demeaning.

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“The Constitution abhors classifications based on race,” he wrote in his dissenting opinion, “not only because these classifications can harm favored races, or are based in illegitimate motives, but also because every time the government places citizens on racial registers and makes race relevant to the provisions of burdens or benefits, it demeans us all.”

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