Twitter beats down law school professor for heinous tweet on Justice Scalia: ‘I hope this racist gets sued’

A black Emory University School of Law professor who teaches the hateful ideology known as critical race theory triggered outrage by decreeing that late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia “was basically a Klansman.”

Professor Darren Hutchinson made this claim Monday on social media based on Scalia’s opinion in the 1987 case McCleskey v. Kemp.

“Justice Scalia was basically a Klansman. I am teaching McCleskey in my CRT seminar on Wednesday. His memo to the justices in this case is so awful; in a just world, it would have led to his impeachment,” Hutchinson wrote in a Facebook post whose screenshot he later ported to Twitter.

“For those who are unfamiliar with the case, a black defendant produced a study showing a high degree of racism in use of the Georgia death penalty. The Court held that even if the statute showed racism generally, it could not prove discrimination in this single case. Scalia stated that even if the study proved discrimination, he would not vote to reverse the sentence,” he added.

Look (the tweet was made private early Wednesday morning):

The stunning, pointed attack on a deceased Supreme Court Justice provoked a flurry of outrage.

Here’s a sample of that anger:

Hutchinson’s summary of the case was correct, except that he neglected to mention a few pertinent facts.

One, the black defendant at the center of the case, Warren McCleskey, had killed a police officer while robbing a Georgia furniture store. Perhaps this is the reason why Scalia had been so hesitant about reversing his sentence, never mind his race.

Two, according to legal scholar Jonathan Turley, the majority opinion in the case was joined by four other justices: Lewis F. Powell Jr., William Rehnquist, Byron White, and Sandra Day O’Connor. In fact, it was written by Powell.

And so going by Hutchinson’s logic, Turley writes, the four other justices “are also presumably Klansmen.” So are the lower court judges who agreed with them.

“The issue on appeal was whether a general finding of racism in the system was sufficient or whether a defendant must show evidence of racism in his actual case. Both felony murder and the killing of an officer are commonly used as aggravating circumstances in capital cases,” Turley notes.

“The United States for the Eleventh Circuit rejected this use of a statistical study without evidence that racism played a role in the specific case under review. The court actually assumed the accuracy of the report for the purposes of the appeal but found that statistics are ‘insufficient to demonstrate discriminatory intent or unconstitutional discrimination in the Fourteenth Amendment context, [and] insufficient to show irrationality, arbitrariness and capriciousness under any kind of Eighth Amendment analysis.'”

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Vivek Saxena

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