Jesse Jackson: Clarence Thomas ‘Is A Product of Affirmative Action’

By Patrick Burke | October 15, 2012 | 5:46 PM EDT

Rev. Jesse Jackson. (AP)

( -- Reverend Jesse Jackson, founder and president of the Rainbow Push Coalition, said that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is a “product of affirmative action.”

He added that the female Supreme Court Justices, which include Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, are a product of “Title IX,” the 1972 law that required the recognition of gender equality of any federally funded educational program.

Speaking at a rally outside the Supreme Court on Oct. 10, the first day of oral arguments in the case of Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, Jackson said he and others who sat with him in the courtroom “were struck by the silence of Justice Clarence Thomas, who had nothing to say, a product of affirmative action.”

He continued, “The three women who sat there in part [as] a result of Title IX, and the movement for gender equality.”

Jackson also said the reason why American female athletes won so many gold medals during the 2012 London Olympics was because of Title IX.

“We could not have won the Olympics this summer in London without the gold medals won by women. Well, that’s because of Title IX,” he said.

Also present was Reverend Al Sharpton, Benjamin Todd Jealous, president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and Terry O’Neil, president of the National Organization for Women (NOW.)

In 2008, Abigail Fisher, who is white, was denied admission to the University of Texas, and is now challenging the University’s consideration of race when admitting prospective students.

The question being presented to the Supreme Court is whether the University of Texas at Austin’s “use of race” in its admissions process is lawful.

(Brief Amicus Curiae of Abigail Fisher May 16, 2012)