Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid on Thursday slammed controversial comments Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said a day earlier that suggested some black students would benefit from being at a “slower-track school.”

Reid blasted Scalia’s comments, which he called “racist ideas,” from the Senate floor.

Scalia on Wednesday suggested it's possible that some black students would be more comfortable at a "slower-track school" instead of the University of Texas' flagship campus in Austin, where Scalia said some of those students are "being pushed ahead in classes that are too fast for them."

Scalia made the comment while the court heard arguments in an affirmative action case.

"The idea that African-American students are somehow inherently intellectually inferior from other students is despicable," Reid said. "It's a throwback ... to a time that America left behind a half a century ago."

He also said the idea that black students should be pushed out of top universities is “unacceptable.”

"That Justice Scalia could raise such an uninformed idea shows just how out of touch he is with the values of this nation," Reid said. "It goes without saying that an African-American student has the same potential to succeed in an academically challenging environment as any other student."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.