Supreme Court Justice Claim Proven False After Clarification

( – The newest member of the Supreme Court, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, suffered an embarrassing correction after she misused statistical findings from a scientific study to bolster her claim that “affirmative action saves lives” in her dissenting opinion for Students for Fair Admissions v Harvard.

Jackson cited a 2020 study that showed a reduction in infant mortality as a result of racial concordance between infants and attending physicians for black babies. In her dissenting opinion, Jackson wrote that having a black doctor doubles the survival rate for black infants, but that isn’t what the study showed. The study showed that it decreased the mortality rate by half, which was already less than one percent.

99% of black babies born survive, regardless of the skin color of the attending physician. It’s impossible to double that rate. The law firm representing the association of medical colleges primarily responsible for the study issued an embarrassing amicus brief to clarify and correct Justice Jackson after she misrepresented their data.

Norton Rose Fulbright said that the brief was written to clear up “confusion.” The statement suggested that while survival and mortality rates are generally opposite and that a decrease in one does indicate an increase in the other, the statement used by Jackson “warrants clarification.” It further elaborated that “statistically, they are not interchangeable.” It did suggest that the data does support Jackson’s claim that black doctors improve outcomes for black babies, but not in the way claimed by Jackson in her dissenting opinion.

Jackson’s claim that the presence of a black doctor “more than doubles” the chances of survival for a black infant is incorrect; what the data indicates is that the chances of that baby dying are halved.

Ted Frank is a legal scholar and lawyer with the Hamilton Lincoln Law Institute who shredded her claims in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. He suggested that “a moment’s thought” would be enough to demonstrate that her claim was “wildly implausible.”

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