Hyperbolic Sharpton 'Dialed Back' by Liberal Guests on 'Devastating' Affirmative Action Ruling

After an incensed Al Sharpton led his PoliticsNation show on Tuesday portraying the day's Supreme Court ruling on affirmative action as a "devastating blow" and a "dangerous precedent," both of his liberal guests made a point of disagreeing with his over the top language.

The MSNBC host began the show:

Tonight's lead, a devastating blow for equal opportunity. Today, the Supreme Court upheld Michigan's ban on affirmative action at public colleges. The 6-2 decision sets a dangerous precedent on protecting minorities, and it has wide-reaching implications for race in America.

After quoting from Justice Anthony Kennedy's majority opinion and Justice Sonia Sotomayor's dissent, Sharpton ominously asked:

If race can be voted out as a factor in education, what's next?

One might similarly ask: If a guy who has a history of inspiring deadly riots by stoking racism can get his own show on MSNBC, what's next?

Sharpton's first guest, NAACP legal counsel Sherrilyn Ifill, immediately moved to counter the far left MSNBC host as she began:

Well, obviously I'm disappointed in today's decision -- not entirely surprised, but disappointed. I do want to dial back the predictions, you know, of devastation because it's very important that we recognize what did not happen today, as well as what did happen today. What did not happen today is that the Supreme Court left untouched its decision from 2003 in the Grutter case, meaning that affirmative action is still alive and well.

When George Washington University Professor Jeffrey Rosen got his turn, he similarly began:

But I do agree with Sherrilyn the decision is neither a surprise, nor does it really change the legal status quo. As she said, it does not revisit the legal decisions that say that affirmative action is permitted. However, it does hold that affirmative action is not constitutionally required.

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Tuesday, April 22, PoliticsNation on MSNBC:

AL SHARPTON: Tonight's lead, a devastating blow for equal opportunity. Today, the Supreme Court upheld Michigan's ban on affirmative action at public colleges. The 6-2 decision sets a dangerous precedent on protecting minorities, and it has wide reaching implications for race in America.

The court ruled that Michigan did not violate the Constitution when its voters banned affirmative action back in 2006. Judge Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority, saying, quote, "This case is not about how the debate about racial preferences should be resolved. It is about who may resolve it."

But Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote a blistering dissent...

(...)

At the University of Michigan, we are already seeing the consequences as black enrollment has fallen. And Michigan isn't alone.  Eight states now have bans on affirmative action in higher education. Today's decision clears the way for many more to join them. It rips open disturbing questions about diversity and opportunity in America. If race can be voted out as a factor in education, what's next?

(...)

You've helped lead this fight for diversity in higher education. What's your reaction to today's ruling?

SHERRILYN IFILL, NAACP LEGAL DEFENSE AND EDUCATIONAL FUND: Well, obviously I'm disappointed in today's decision -- not entirely surprised, but disappointed. I do want to dial back the predictions, you know, of devastation because it's very important that we recognize what did not happen today, as well as what did happen today. What did not happen today is that the Supreme Court left untouched its decision from 2003 in the Grutter case, meaning that affirmative action is still alive and well.

What the Supreme Court did do today was it did say that it is constitutional for a state, as in the case of Michigan, to essentially alter the political process, to require those who are seeking to ensure that there is opportunity and access and inclusion of racial minorities, of ethnic minorities, of national origin minorities at the University of Michigan to essentially if they want to influence that process and have race or any of those factors be considered, they would have to actually amend the Constitution to overcome this referendum.

(...)

PROF. JEFFREY ROSEN, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY: But I do agree with Sherrilyn the decision is neither a surprise, nor does it really change the legal status quo. As she said, it does not revisit the legal decisions that say that affirmative action is permitted. However, it does hold that affirmative action is not constitutionally required.