© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Students and pedestrians walk through the Yard at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S., March 10, 2020. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo

By Sharon Bernstein

(Reuters) -Here are reactions to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on affirmative action on Thursday, on Twitter and elsewhere.

U.S. PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN, DEMOCRAT:

“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 U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, DEMOCRAT:

“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 U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN:

“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.”

U.S. SENATE MAJORITY LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER, DEMOCRAT:

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

U.S. SENATE REPUBLICAN 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 AND CEO DERRICK JOHNSON, SPEAKING ON MSNBC:

“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.”

FLORIDA GOVERNOR RON DESANTIS, REPUBLICAN

“College admissions should be based on merit and applicants should not be judged on their race or ethnicity. The Supreme Court has correctly upheld the Constitution and ended discrimination by colleges and universities.”

FORMER FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA, DEMOCRAT:

“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.”

FORMER U.S. VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE, REPUBLICAN:

“There is no place for discrimination based on race in the United States, and I am pleased that the Supreme Court has put an end to this egregious violation of civil and constitutional rights in admissions processes, which only served to perpetuate racism.”

U.S. SENATOR TOM COTTON, REPUBLICAN:

“Affirmative action is systemic discrimination. I’m thankful the Supreme Court held this discrimination violates the constitution. Admissions should be decided on merit – not by color of skin.”

UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA STUDENT CHRISTINA HUANG, CO-FOUNDER OF THE SCHOOL’S AFFIRMATIVE ACTION COALITION:

“I’m very disappointed in the ruling. I’m worried about a lot of marginalized communities in which this will create even more educational barriers for these students.”



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