• Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Supreme Court ruled that Congress had the broad authority to enact affirmative action policies designed to increase minority participation in the broadcasting industry, but the Court overturned the ruling five years later.

By a 5-4 majority, the Supreme Court used the important governmental interest standard when upholding a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) policy designed to increase broadcast diversity. The decision surprised observers, because in Richmond v. J. A. Croson Co.[case]Richmond v. J. A. Croson Co.[Richmond v. J. A. Croson Co.] (1989), the Court ruled that state and local affirmative action programs must be judged by the strict scrutiny standard, which almost certainly would have disqualified the FCC’s policy. Apparently, the majority of the justices concluded that federal programs were entitled to a greater presumption of validity. In Adarand Constructors v. Peña[case]Adarand Constructors v. Peña[Adarand Constructors v. Peña] (1995), however, a 5-4 majority of the justices repudiated the Metro Broadcasting approach and held that all affirmative action programs federal, state, or local must be reviewed under the demanding strict scrutiny standard.Affirmative action;Metro Broadcasting v. Federal Communications Commission[Metro Broadcasting v. Federal Communications Commission]

Adarand Constructors v. Peña

Affirmative action

Fullilove v. Klutznick

Judicial scrutiny

Race and discrimination

Richmond v. J. A. Croson Co.

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