Known for playing fast and loose as President Obama’s lead agenda champion, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder surprised few when he led the charge Wednesday supporting Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s passionate dissent against banning affirmative action in Michigan universities’ admissions.
At a diversity event held at the Department of Justice, Holder called Sotomayor’s minority opinion in the 6-2 constitutional amendment case “courageous.” Even though the vast majority of justices supported Michigan voters’ right to amend state law, Holder saw the ruling as an opening to advocate for bending the law in a different direction, according to The Hill.
“[A]s Justice Sonia Sotomayor said just yesterday in her courageous and personal dissent in the Michigan admissions case, we ought not, ‘wish away, rather than confront, the racial inequality that exists in our society,” Holder said. “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to speak openly and candidly on the subject of race.”
Holder has voiced support in the past for race-based policy, like in 2012 interview, when he told a group at the World Leaders Forum, “When do people of color truly get the benefits to which they are entitled?”
He echoed the thought Wednesday.
“It’s tempting to think the struggle to overcome discrimination has ended when people like him or President Obama have reached the nation’s highest ranks,” Holder said. “But the fight for equal rights is not over. … This great country still has a ways to go before our founding promise of equal justice and equal opportunity is fully realized.”
Yet in an editorial titled, “Half a Win on Racial Discrimination,” the National Review described Sotomayor’s reasoning as “legally illiterate and logically indefensible.”
“The still-young career of this self-described ‘wise Latina’ on the Supreme Court already offers a case study in the moral and legal corrosion that inevitably results from elevating ethnic-identity politics over the law,” the editors wrote.
Many would accuse Holder of bringing the same corrosion to the Department of Justice.
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