Conservatives Sue Atlanta to Stop Affirmative Action
The conservative Southeastern Legal Foundation filed suit against the city of Atlanta yesterday, charging that a city policy which has set aside one-third of city contracts for minority and women-owned businesses is "illegal and unconstitutional."
The policy, which has been in effect for the past 24 years, is a successful program that has been emulated by other cities. Franklin M. Lee of the Minority Business Enterprise Legal Defense and Education Fund said "Atlanta was really one of the first municipalities to take a strong stand on minority business participation. They refused to engage in major projects without minority businesses playing a significant part."
Mayor Bill Campbell pledged that the city would mount an aggressive defense of the program, which he says has "strengthened our [Atlanta's] economy" and "helped remedy past and present discrimination." Campbell pledged, "We will vigorously defend this program with a team of the best lawyers and professionals available."
Opponents of the city's affirmative action policy argue that women and minority-owned businesses no longer face discrimination in Atlanta, which has had a black mayor and a majority-black city council for more than two decades.
Supporters of the city policy argue that minority and women-owned firms face harsh discrimination in the private sector and need government contracts in order to grow and prosper.
The U.S. Supreme Court has significantly limited the scope and breadth of affirmative action programs in recent years. The Court determined that government set-asides may only be used when there is evidence of continued discrimination against minority and women-owned firms, and only when alternative remedies to discrimination have proven unsuccessful.
The Southeastern Legal Foundation has challenged affirmation action programs at schools in Atlanta and Nashville and worked to defeat the Census Bureau's plan to use statistical sampling in the 2000 census. Supporters of statistical sampling argue that poor, minority and immigrant populations are under -counted when traditional "headcounts" are used to measure the U.S. population, since these families are less likely to have stable homes.
Media Resources: Washington Post - August 27, 1999
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .