United States Attorney General Eric Holder gives remarks during an Interfaith Service of Unity and Hope at the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park, Kan., Thursday, April 17, 2014. Frazier Glenn Cross, 73, is charged with the killings Sunday of Dr. William Lewis Corporon and his grandson, Reat Griffin Underwood, outside the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City. Cross is also accused of killing Terri LaManno at a nearby Jewish retirement complex. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder  (Orlin Wagner/AP)

Attorney General Eric Holder praised Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Wednesday for her "courageous" dissent against the court's decision upholding Michigan's ban on affirmative action in college admissions.

Speaking at a diversity event at the Justice Department, Holder said the progress of African Americans like him should not be taken as a sign that discrimination no longer exists.

"As Justice Sonia Sotomayor said just yesterday in her courageous and very personal dissent in the Michigan college admissions case, 'We ought not wish away rather than confront the racial inequality that exists in our society,' " Holder said.

Holder didn't take a position on the decision, which had the support of six justices, including Stephen Breyer from the more liberal side of the court.

The White House has also declined to weigh in directly, but press secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday that President Obama supports the use of affirmative action in some cases.