Holder Chides Supreme Court for Affirmative Action Ruling

Image: Eric Holder
Attorney General Eric Holder speaks at the Justice Department's Diversity and Inclusion Speaker Series, Wednesday, April 23, 2014, in the Great Hall at the Justice Department in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)Susan Walsh / AP

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Attorney General Eric Holder took a swipe Wednesday at the Supreme Court's decision to uphold Michigan's ban on using race as a factor in college admissions.

During a diversity event at the Justice Department, Holder said some people "may believe that this country's long struggle to overcome disparity and discrimination has ended."

The court's 6-2 decision Tuesday stated that Michigan did not violate the Constitution when its voters banned affirmative action in higher education.

Holder - the nation's first black attorney general - cited Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor's "courageous and personal dissent" to the majority opinion in Tuesday's ruling.

"The reality is that, as you all know - and as many of you see in your work each day - this great country still has a way to go before our founding promise of equal justice and equal opportunity is fully realized," he said. "And progress will require not just open and honest dialogue, but a willingness to confront these difficult issues through principled action - to address and remediate the lingering impacts of racial discrimination."