The low point of oral argument came courtesy of Justice Scalia, who used the opportunity to comment on debunked theories about underperforming minorities in higher education and disparage African Americans in general. His comments were patently racist, suggesting that African Americans may be better off going to “less-advanced,” “slower-track schools.” Even if Justice Scalia did not intend the comments to come off as racist, they nevertheless show why it’s important to have diverse judges on the bench who understand the complexity of race in America.

Justice Scalia was not the only tone-deaf justice when it came to talking about race and diversity. In a separate exchange, Chief Justice Roberts challenged the need for diversity in the classroom, asking Garre the question, “What unique perspective does a minority student bring to a physics class?” At a time when minorities are greatly underrepresented in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), the last thing this country needs is the chief justice of the Supreme Court questioning minority students’ value in those fields.