'You Don't Want to Understand the 14th Amendment': O'Reilly Battles Atty Over Affirmative Action
In his Talking Points Memo Thursday night, Bill O'Reilly took on Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor following a ruling this week that stated voters in Michigan can reject affirmative action at public institutions.
Sotomayor, who dissented in the 6-2 ruling, said affirmative action was a "door-opener" for her and "changed the course" of her life. O'Reilly said affirmative action policies run counter to the 14th Amendment on equal protection under the law, adding that the Supreme Court "did the right thing."
"The problem is by giving one person preference based on skin color or ethnicity, you harm another person. The University of Michigan can only admit so many students. If a white student meets the criteria but is denied admission because a black person with lesser credentials gets a preference, the white person is not receiving equal protection. Therefore it's a violation of the 14th Amendment. It's kinda simple," he said.
He went on to outline a solution based on "achievement" and economic factors that he would like to discuss face-to-face with Sotomayor.
The Memo was followed by a spirited debate with civil rights attorney George Washington, an advocate for affirmative action and immigrants' rights. He told O'Reilly he is "absolutely forgetting" that minority students in the U.S. do not have equal opportunity compared to white students.
O'Reilly argued that his argument was "theoretical" and a "subjective liberal tenet" to say that black and minority students are not treated equally.
Washington challenged O'Reilly to travel to Detroit and look at the "reality" of the situation.
"Come to those schools and tell me people are being treated equally," said Washington, calling out the Supreme Court for "ignoring" the realities that black and Latino students face.
O'Reilly countered that the Constitution is clear on equal protection and it applies to everyone, maintaining one group cannot be "elevated no matter how much injustice has been done to that group."
Watch the latest Talking Points Memo and the contentious discussion above.