Overturning district and court of appeals rulings:
Majority opinion (5-4) written by Kennedy:
In Monday's ruling, Justice Anthony Kennedy said, "Fear of litigation alone cannot justify an employer's reliance on race to the detriment of individuals who passed the examinations and qualified for promotions."
In dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the white firefighters "understandably attract this court's sympathy. But they had no vested right to promotion. Nor have other persons received promotions in preference to them."