Supreme Court Allows Pro-Affirmative Action Decision to Stand
The Supreme Court will not review a decision of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, which approved of the Department of Transportationís (DOT) affirmative action contracting program.
The Tenth Circuit decision found that DOTís program, which permits state grantees to give businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals certain preferences in the contracting process, constitutional. The Tenth Circuit stated that in approving the DOTís program, Congress acted in response to the compelling interest of remedying discrimination against minority business owners and that the program itself was narrowly tailored to respond to the interest and did not overly harm the rights of white business owners. The Tenth Circuitís decision is one of the few evaluating the constitutionality of federal affirmative action programs and one of the few decisions approving of an affirmative action program under the strict scrutiny standard required by the Supreme Court.