Biden slams SCOTUS affirmative action decision: 'Discrimination still exists in America'
"This is not a normal court," Biden said, when asked if it had gone "rogue."
President Joe Biden on Thursday blasted the Supreme Court ruling setting new limits on affirmative action as a "severe disappointment," saying, "we cannot let this decision be the last word."
"The court has effectively ended affirmative action in college admissions and I strongly, strongly disagree with the court's decision," Biden said, adding that "the court has once again walked away from decades of precedent."
Saying "affirmative action is so misunderstood," Biden said, "I believe our colleges are stronger when they are racially diverse. Our nation is stronger because we use -- but because we are tapping into the full range of talent in this nation. I also believe that while talent, creativity and hard work are everywhere across this country, not equal opportunity, it is not everywhere across this country," he said.
"We cannot let decision be the last word. I want to emphasize we cannot let this decision be the last word. While the court can render a decision, it cannot change what America stands for, " he said.
"The truth is, we all know it, discrimination still exists in America," he said. "Discrimination still exists in America. Discrimination still exists in America," he repeated. "Today's decision doesn't change that. We cannot let the decision be a permanent setback for the country."
Saying the nation needed "a path forward," he proposed a new standard for colleges and universities, cautioning, "they should not abandon, let me say this again, they should abandon their commitment to ensure student bodies of diverse backgrounds and experience that reflect all of America."
"What I propose for consideration is a new standard where colleges take into account the adversity a student has overcome when selecting among qualified applicants," he said.
He said he was "directing the Department of Education to analyze what practices help build a more inclusive and diverse student bodies and what practices hold that back, practices like legacy admissions and other systems that -- expand privilege instead of opportunity."
As he left, when asked by a reporter whether this was a "rogue court," Biden replied, "this is not a normal court."
Later Thursday, after traveling to New York for fundraisers, in a rare live interview on MSNBC's "Deadline: White House," he explained his comment to anchor Nicole Wallace.
"It's done more to unravel basic rights and basic decisions than any court in ... recent history," Biden said. "And that's what I meant by 'not normal.'"
He pointed not just to the court's decision on affirmative action ruling but to its decision to overrule Roe v. Wade.
"Take a look at how it's -- how it's ruled on a number of issues that are -- have been precedent for 50, 60 years sometimes," Biden said, "and that's what I meant by 'not normal.'"