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"I heard him; I was like, 'let me read it again … Whoa.' " This magisterial analysis was Donald Trump's response to a point Justice Antonin Scalia voiced last week during arguments in the Supreme Court affirmative action case Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin.

Scalia, citing a brief, said: "There are those who contend that it does not benefit African-Americans to get them into the University of Texas where they do not do well, as opposed to having them go to a less-advanced school — a slower-track school where they do well."

Racial preferences may have a knock-on effect throughout the college system that harms those minorities whom it is supposed to help. If top colleges lower standards, as they do, to admit more minority students, those students often fare poorly, fall behind their better-prepared peers and drop out at higher rates. By admitting them, top-tier colleges take them away from second-tier colleges, where they would have excelled, and force those colleges in turn to lower standards to recruit minorities. And so on down the line.

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