The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled against the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) rules, which required stations to hire minorities and women at levels similar to their composition in the surrounding communities.
The case was brought to the Court by the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, which appealed a FCC ruling that it did not attempt to hire enough minorities. The court claimed that the rules violated the equal protection clause of the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
In 1997, 40.8 percent of FCC employees working for television and radio broadcasters were women, an increase from 23.3 percent in 1971. Last year, broadcast employees included 19.9 percent minorities, an increase from 9.1 in 1971, the FCC said.
FCC officials were outraged and disappointed that the court would eradicate all of its EEO rules. "Our nation is diminished today," said FCC chairman William Kennard. "The unfortunate reality in our nation today is that race and gender still matter."
Feminist News Stories on Affirmative Action
Media Resources: Washington Post and Nando.net- April 15, 1998