Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson:

“With let-them-eat-cake obliviousness, today, the majority pulls the ripcord and announces ‘colorblindness for all’ by legal fiat. But deeming race irrelevant in law does not make it so in life. And having so detached itself from this country’s actual past and present experiences, the Court has now been lured into interfering with the crucial work that UNC and other institutions of higher learning are doing to solve America’s real-world problems.”

“The best that can be said of the majority’s perspective is that it proceeds (ostrich-like) from the hope that preventing consideration of race will end racism. But if that is its motivation, the majority proceeds in vain. If the colleges of this country are required to ignore a thing that matters, it will not just go away. It will take longer for racism to leave us.”

“Gulf-sized race-based gaps exist with respect to the health, wealth, and well-being of American citizens. They were created in the distant past, but have indisputably been passed down to the present day through the generations. Every moment these gaps persist is a moment in which this great country falls short of actualizing one of its foundational principles — the ‘self-evident’ truth that all of us are created equal.”

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas:

Justice Thomas read his opinion today from the floor of the Supreme Court. 

“These policies fly in the face of our colorblind constitution. Two discriminatory wrongs can not make a right.”

“The racial boxes into which universities place applicants are little more than stereotypes…This is not the 1860s, or the 1960s.”

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomyor

“Ignoring race will not equalize a society that is racially unequal. What was true in the 1860s, and again in 1954, is true today: Equality requires acknowledgment of inequality.”

“The Court cements a superficial rule of colorblindness as a constitutional principle in an endemically segregated society where race has always mattered and continues to matter. The Court subverts the constitutional guarantee of equal protection by further entrenching racial inequality in education, the very foundation of our democratic government and pluralistic society.”

President Joe Biden:

“Today’s court decision is a severe disappointment to so many people, including me. But we cannot let the decision be a permanent setback for the country. We need to keep an open door of opportunities. We need to remember that diversity is our strength.”

Former President Barack Obama:

“Like any policy, affirmative action wasn’t perfect. But it allowed generations of students like Michelle and me to prove we belonged. Now it’s up to all of us to give young people the opportunities they deserve  —  and help students everywhere benefit from new perspectives.”

Former President Donald Trump:

“This is a great day for America. People with extraordinary ability and everything else necessary for success, including future greatness for our country, are finally being rewarded. This is the ruling everyone was waiting and hoping for.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer:

“The Supreme Court ruling has put a giant roadblock in our country’s march toward racial justice.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell:

“The Supreme Court’s decisions on college admissions are a long-overdue step toward ensuring equal protection under the law. … Now that the Court has reaffirmed that commonsense position, students can get a fair shot at college and the American dream on their merits.”

NAACP President & CEO Derrick Johson:

“The worst thing about affirmative action is that it created a Clarence Thomas who benefited from the program and now is in a position where he’s going to deny many young African American talented individuals an opportunity. Historically, the problem has been that institutions of higher learning, corporations, companies and other entities have denied well-qualified African Americans and other individuals access in terms of admission and employment because of their race.”

Michelle Obama:

“We don’t usually question if (legacy) students belong. So often, we just accept that money, power, and privilege are perfectly justifiable forms of affirmative action, while kids growing up like I did are expected to compete when the ground is anything but level. So my heart breaks for any young person out there who’s wondering what their future holds — and what kinds of chances will be open to them.”

Merrick Garland (Obama’s nominee for Supreme Court who’s confirmation the Republican’s refused to act on):

“It will significantly set back efforts to advance educational opportunity for all Americans. And it upends nearly 50 years of precedent.”