The Supreme Court dealt a serious blow to affirmative action programs when it held that state and local governments must justify racial preferences by the standard of a compelling governmental interest.
In 1983 the city council of Richmond, Virginia, enacted an affirmative action requirement that the city’s prime contractors must award at least 30 percent of their subcontracts to minority-owned businesses. The J. A. Croson plumbing company sued the city, arguing that the set-aside requirement violated the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The city referred to Fullilove v. Klutznick
By a 6-3 majority, the Supreme Court struck down Richmond’s plan. Sandra Day O’Connor’s
The Court expanded the Croson ruling to apply to federal legislation in Adarand Constructors v. Peña
Adarand Constructors v. Peña
Equal protection clause
Fullilove v. Klutznick
Race and discrimination