The Supreme Court required lower courts to use the standards of “strict scrutiny” when examining any preferences based on race.
The Federal Highway Division provided premiums to general contractors for awarding contracts to firms owned by members of racial minorities recognized as having experienced social and economic disadvantages. Although the Adarand Constructors company was the lowest bidder for one construction project, the award was made to a Hispanic-owned company. Adarand sued, claiming that this race-based preference violated the Fifth Amendment guarantee of equal protection.
However, the Supreme Court overturned the lower court’s decision. Speaking for a 5-4 majority, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor
Fullilove v. Klutznick
Metro Broadcasting v. Federal Communications Commission
Richmond v. J. A. Croson Co.
Texas v. Hopwood