The Supreme Court and
An Examination of the Early
Development of Statutory and
As was discussed in previous chapters, by the late 1960s and early 1970s, race and gender-conscious approaches to affirmative action had come into frequent use in the struggle to overcome discrimination against minorities and women. Numerical goals and timetables were often developed, and limited preferences for women and members of minority groups were established in many organizations. Precisely because these actions are premised on racial or gender distinctions, they present a challenge to the doctrine of strict nondiscrimination and have given rise to significant controversy. As formerly noted, a fundamental conflict between core values embracing social equity on the one hand and individual rights on the other is at issue.1
The task of adjudicating disputes arising out of the application of racial or gender-based preferences incorporated within affirmative action programs rests, of course, with the courts and ultimately with the Supreme Court. This chapter reviews court rulings on preferential affirmative action in order to identify the legal boundaries of such programs for government and private-sector organizations. Because the issue is so divisive and
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Publication information: Book title: Understanding Affirmative Action : Politics, Discrimination, and the Search for Justice. Contributors: J. Edward Kellough - Author. Publisher: Georgetown University Press. Place of publication: Washington, DC. Publication year: 2006. Page number: 90.
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