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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."