Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Will, at some point in the not too distant future, the policy of Affirmative Action in the business arena be challenged?

Portions of an article authored by Miranda Leitsinger, Staff Writer, NBC News, published on June 24, 2013:

The Supreme Court's decision to apply a tough legal standard on college affirmative action policies on Monday was hailed as a win by opposing sides, though supporters acknowledged it meant they'd have to go farther to keep such guidelines in place.

By a 7-1 vote, the court sent a case about the University of Texas admissions policy back to a federal appeals court for review, and directed the appeals court to apply an exacting legal standard known as strict scrutiny rather than accept a university's assurances of acting in good faith. (There were only eight votes because Justice Elena Kagan recused herself since she worked on the issue while she was solicitor general under President Barack Obama).

“The Supreme Court has established exceptionally high hurdles for the Univ. of Texas and other universities and colleges to overcome if they intend to continue using race preferences in their admissions policies,” Blum said in a statement. “It is unlikely that most institutions will be able to overcome these hurdles.”
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Back to the question I posed – the title of this blog post – “Will, at some point in the not too distant future, the policy of Affirmative Action in the business arena be challenged?”

While I seriously doubt that we’ll see, anytime soon, the elimination of “small-business-set-asides” (and other small business “preferences”) in government sector procurements, it may well be that, at some point in the not too distant future – given the decision (or some would say, non-decision) by the U.S. Supreme Court on the matter of preferences in university admissions - a company (and all it takes is one) will take a city or county (or state) agency to court over affirmative actions preferences and set-asides – in government sector procurements - for MBE, DBE or even WBE “certified” businesses.  And, when that happens, I will not at all be surprised if the Supreme Court, given its current make up, determines that MBE, DBE and WBE set-asides and preferences are unconstitutional.

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