Affirmative Action

Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Mineta, No. 00-730

The Court agreed to consider arguments that there never can be a compelling interest in preferential treatment of racial groups in government contracting, an argument that is widely viewed as relevant to the ongoing affirmative-action debate in other areas, including university admissions.

Decision. On Nov. 27, 2001, the Supreme Court concluded that the race-conscious measures it had agreed to review were not being enforced in the jurisdictions in which Adarand operates, and that the company was now asking it to review other race-based programs that had not yet been considered by the lower courts. The Court therefore dismissed its writ of certiorari as being "improvidently granted," leaving what it agreed were "questions of fundamental national importance" unanswered and awaiting resolution in some future case.

Read the Tenth Circuit opinion upholding the federal Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program.

Read Adarand Constructors' brief urging the Supreme Court to strike down the program.

Read the federal government's brief urging the Supreme Court to uphold the program.

Explore the extensive resources compiled by Professor Clark D. Cunningham of the Washington University School of Law on this affirmative-action case.

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