Timeline of Affirmative Action

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					Timeline of Affirmative Action

             March 6, 1961
• Executive Order 10925 makes the first
  reference to "affirmative action“
• President John F. Kennedy issues Executive
  Order 10925, which creates the Committee on
  Equal Employment Opportunity and
• mandates that projects financed with federal
  funds "take affirmative action" to ensure that
  hiring and employment practices are free of
  racial bias.
              July 2, 1964
• Civil Rights Act signed by President
  Lyndon Johnson
• The Civil Rights Act prohibits
  discrimination of all kinds based on race,
  color, religion, or national origin.
• The most sweeping civil rights legislation
  since Reconstruction (1865-1877),
              June 4, 1965
• Speech defining concept of affirmative

• In an eloquent speech to the graduating
  class at Howard University, President
  Johnson frames the concept underlying
  affirmative action, asserting that civil rights
  laws alone are not enough to remedy
• You do not wipe away the scars of centuries by saying:
  'now, you are free to go where you want, do as you
  desire, and choose the leaders you please.' You do not
  take a man who for years has been hobbled by chains,
  liberate him, bring him to the starting line of a race,
  saying, 'you are free to compete with all the others,' and
  still justly believe you have been completely fair . . . This
  is the next and more profound stage of the battle for civil
  rights. We seek not just freedom but opportunity—not
  just legal equity but human ability—not just equality as a
  right and a theory, but equality as a fact and as a result.“
             Sept. 24, 1965
• Executive Order 11246 enforces affirmative
  action for the first time

• Issued by President Johnson, the executive
  order requires government contractors to "take
  affirmative action" toward prospective minority
  employees in all aspects of hiring and
• Contractors must take specific measures to
  ensure equality in hiring and must document
  these efforts.
          On Oct. 13, 1967
• the order was amended to cover
  discrimination on the basis of gender--
                   The Philadelphia Order
• Initiated by President Richard Nixon, the "Philadelphia
  Order" was the most forceful plan thus far to guarantee
  fair hiring practices in construction jobs.
• Philadelphia was selected as the test case because, as
  assistant secretary of labor Arthur Fletcher explained,
  "The craft unions and the construction industry are
  among the most egregious offenders against equal
  opportunity laws . . . openly hostile toward letting blacks
  into their closed circle."
• The order included definite "goals and timetables.“
  As President Nixon asserted
"We would not impose quotas, but would
  require federal contractors to show
  'affirmative action' to meet the goals of
  increasing minority employment.”
                    June 28, 1978
Regents of the University of California v. Bakke
• Allan Bakke, a white applicant, was rejected twice even though there
  were minority applicants admitted with significantly lower scores than

•   Bakke maintained that judging him on the basis of his race was a
    violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth

•   The Supreme Court ruled that while race was a legitimate factor in
    school admissions, the use of such inflexible quotas as the medical
    school had set aside was not.

•   The Supreme Court, however, was split 5–4 in its decision on the
    Bakke case and addressed only a minimal number of the many
    complex issues that had sprung up about affirmative action.
This landmark Supreme Court case
• imposed limitations on affirmative action to ensure that
  providing greater opportunities for minorities did not
  come at the expense of the rights of the majority

• affirmative action was unfair if it led to reverse

• The case involved the Univ. of California, Davis, Medical
  School, which had two separate admissions pools, one
  for standard applicants, and another for minority and
  economically disadvantaged students. The school
  reserved 16 of its 100 places for this latter group.
                    July 2, 1980
                      Fullilove v. Klutznick
• New York case
• While Bakke struck down strict quotas, in Fullilove the
  Supreme Court ruled that some modest quotas were perfectly

• The Court upheld a federal law requiring that 15% of funds for
  public works be set aside for qualified minority contractors.

• The "narrowed focus and limited extent" of the affirmative
  action program did not violate the equal rights of non-minority

• according to the Court—there was no "allocation of federal
  funds according to inflexible percentages solely based on race
  or ethnicity."
                      May 19, 1986
 Wygant v. Jackson Board of Education (Mississippi)
• This case challenged a school board's policy of protecting minority
  employees by laying off non-minority teachers first, even though the
  non-minority employees had seniority.

•   The Supreme Court ruled against the school board, maintaining that
    the injury suffered by non-minorities affected could not justify the
    benefits to minorities: "We have previously expressed concern over
    the burden that a preferential-layoffs scheme imposes on innocent

•   In cases involving valid hiring goals, the burden to be borne by
    innocent individuals is diffused to a considerable extent among
    society generally. Though hiring goals may burden some innocent
    individuals, they simply do not impose the same kind of injury that
    layoffs impose. Denial of a future employment opportunity is not as
    intrusive as loss of an existing job.”
                        Feb. 25, 1987
                               United States v. Paradise
•   In July 1970, a federal court found that the State of Alabama Department of
    Public Safety systematically discriminated against blacks in hiring: "in the
    thirty-seven-year history of the patrol there has never been a black trooper."

•   The court ordered that the state reform its hiring practices to end "pervasive,
    systematic, and obstinate discriminatory exclusion of blacks." A full 12 years
    and several lawsuits later, the department still had not promoted any blacks
    above entry level nor had they implemented a racially fair hiring system. In
    response, the court ordered specific racial quotas to correct the situation.

•   For every white hired or promoted, one black would also be hired or promoted
    until at least 25% of the upper ranks of the department were composed of
    blacks. This use of numerical quotas was challenged.

•   The Supreme Court, however, upheld the use of strict quotas in this case as
    one of the only means of combating the department's overt and defiant racism.
                   Jan. 23, 1989
              City of Richmond, Virginia v. Croson
• This case involved affirmative action programs at the state and
  local levels—a Richmond program setting aside 30% of city
  construction funds for black-owned firms was challenged.

• For the first time, affirmative action was judged as a "highly
  suspect tool."

• The Supreme Court ruled that an "amorphous claim that there
  has been past discrimination in a particular industry cannot
  justify the use of an unyielding racial quota."

• It maintained that affirmative action must be subject to "strict
  scrutiny" and is unconstitutional unless racial discrimination
  can be proven to be "widespread throughout a particular
• The Court maintained that "the purpose of strict
  scrutiny is to `smoke out' illegitimate uses of
  race by assuring that the legislative body is
  pursuing a goal important enough to warrant use
  of a highly suspect tool.
• The test also ensures that the means chosen `fit'
  this compelling goal so closely that there is little
  or no possibility that the motive for the
  classification was illegitimate racial prejudice or
             June 12, 1995
Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Peña
• Colorado case
• What Croson was to state- and local-run
  affirmative action programs, Adarand was to
  federal programs. The Court again called for
  "strict scrutiny" in determining whether
  discrimination existed before implementing a
  federal affirmative action program.
• "Strict scrutiny" meant that affirmative action programs
  fulfilled a "compelling governmental interest," and were
  "narrowly tailored" to fit the particular situation.
• Although two of the judges (Scalia and Thomas) felt that
  there should be a complete ban on affirmative action, the
  majority of judges asserted that "the unhappy
  persistence of both the practice and the lingering effects
  of racial discrimination against minority groups in this
• justified the use of race-based remedial measures in
  certain circumstances.
                  July 19, 1995
White House guidelines on affirmative action
• President Clinton asserted in a speech that while
  Adarand set "stricter standards to mandate reform of
  affirmative action, it actually reaffirmed the need for
  affirmative action and reaffirmed the continuing
  existence of systematic discrimination in the United
• In a White House memorandum on the same day, he
  called for the elimination of any program that "(a) creates
  a quota; (b) creates preferences for unqualified
  individuals; (c) creates reverse discrimination; or (d)
  continues even after its equal opportunity purposes have
  been achieved."
           March 18, 1996
Hopwood v. University of Texas Law
  Cheryl Hopwood and three other white
 law-school applicants at the University of
 Texas challenged the school's affirmative
 action program, asserting that they were
 rejected because of unfair preferences
 toward less qualified minority applicants.
• As a result, the 5th U.S. Court of Appeals
  suspended the university's affirmative
  action admissions program and ruled that
  the 1978 Bakke decision was invalid
• while Bakke rejected racial quotas it
  maintained that race could serve as a
  factor in admissions.
In addition to remedying past discrimination, Bakke
   maintained that the inclusion of minority students would
   create a diverse student body, and that was beneficial to
   the educational environment as a whole. Hopwood,
   however, rejected the legitimacy of diversity as a goal,
   asserting that "educational diversity is not recognized as
   a compelling state interest." The Supreme Court allowed
   the ruling to stand. In 1997, the Texas Attorney General
   announced that all "Texas public universities [should]
   employ race-neutral criteria."
   Taxman v. Township board of education
• Piscataway, New Jersey, the board of
  education, facing budget cutbacks, fired a white
  teacher rather than a black one, citing diversity
  as a justification.
• A court ruled that diversity was not a sufficient
  rationale for considering race except "to remedy
  past discrimination or as the result of a manifest
  imbalance in the employment of minorities."
                   Nov. 3, 1997
Proposition 209 enacted in California
• A state ban on all forms of affirmative action was passed
  in California: "The state shall not discriminate against, or
  grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on
  the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin
  in the operation of public employment, public education,
  or public contracting."

• Proposed in 1996, the controversial ban had been
  delayed in the courts for almost a year before it went into
              Dec. 3, 1998
Initiative 200 enacted in Washington
• Washington becomes the second state to
  abolish state affirmative action measures
  when it passed "I 200," which is similar to
  California's Proposition 209.
             Feb. 22, 2000
• Florida bans race as factor in college

• Florida legislature approves education
  component of Gov. Jeb Bush's "One
  Florida" initiative, aimed at ending
  affirmative action in the state.
                  Dec. 13, 2000
• University of Michigan’s undergrad affirmative action

• In Gratz v. Bollinger, a federal judge ruled that the use of
  race as a factor in admissions at the University of
  Michigan was constitutional.
• The gist of the university's argument was as follows: just
  as preference is granted to children of alumni,
  scholarship athletes, and others groups for reasons
  deemed beneficial to the university, so too does the
  affirmative action program serve "a compelling interest"
  by providing educational benefits derived from a diverse
  student body.
              March 27, 2001

• Univ. of Michigan Law School's affirmative
  action policy

• In Grutter v. Bollinger, a case similar to the
  University of Michigan undergraduate lawsuit, a
  different judge drew an opposite conclusion,
  invalidating the law school's policy and ruling
  that "intellectual diversity bears no obvious or
  necessary relationship to racial diversity."
        But on May 14, 2002
• the decision was reversed on appeal,
  ruling that the admissions policy was, in
  fact, constitutional.
                   June 23, 2003

• Supreme Court Upholds Affirmative Action in
  University Admissions

• In the most important affirmative action decision since
  the 1978 Bakke case, the Supreme Court (5-4) upholds
  the University of Michigan Law School's policy, ruling
  that race can be one of many factors considered by
  colleges when selecting their students

•    because it furthers "a compelling interest in obtaining
    the educational benefits that flow from a diverse student
• The June 23, 2003, Supreme Court ruling
  in Grutter v. Bollinger invalidates Hopwood
• The Supreme Court, however, ruled (6-3)
  that the more formulaic approach of the
  University of Michigan's undergraduate
  admissions program, which uses a point
  system that rates students and awards
  additional points to minorities, had to be
The undergraduate program, unlike the law
 school's, does not provide the
 "individualized consideration" of applicants
 deemed necessary in previous Supreme
 Court decisions on affirmative action.

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