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Affirmative Action Essay

1510 words - 7 pages

Affirmative Action

                                        Kenneth Huttner
                                        ECO 325 ...view middle of the document...

Kennedy made a declaration that said that upon accepting a government contract the contractor must pledge not to discriminate against any applicants or employees on the basis of race, creed, color, or national origin(Elliot and Ewoh, p212). Although the contractors made this pledge there was not much enforcement of it.
In 1964 congress took steps battle discrimination in the workplace. Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act said that no person could be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, or national origin when it came to publicly funded programs. This was expanded in 1965 when president Johnson declared that the government would provide equal opportunity employment. Then in 1967 this was again expanded to make it illegal to discriminate on the basis of gender as well as race(Elliot and Ewoh, p213).
In 1970 the Department of Labor ordered that all contractors with government contracts, fifty or more employees, and received $50,000 or more in assistance had to develop an extensive affirmative action plan to include minorities in areas where they lacked representation(Elliot and Ewoh, p213). These plans had to include in depth research with goals and timetables, which would be met by the contractors. If the goals were not met then the government would no longer enter into contracts with the contractors. This was called order No. 4, and was revised in 1971 to include women(Elliot and Ewoh, p213). At this time affirmative action was not quota based. Later Jimmy Carter would give the responsibility of overseeing these mandates to the Equal Employment Opportunity Committee.
The Supreme Court would not yet support affirmative action in all areas. In college admissions, race could only be used as one of many factors when considering students for entrance into a college. Affirmative action was first tested in the case of Bakke v. Regents of the University of California. This case made racial quotas unconstitutional, but did allow for race to be used as a factor in the admissions process (Brunner, p2). Regardless, congress would make provisions for affirmative action in the public works areas. They would set percentages of minorities, which must be employed in the programs. These were tested in the Supreme Court, but were upheld when they came to trial (Elliot and Ewoh, p215).
Ronald Reagan was committed to anti affirmative action when it came to the matter of equal opportunity. The courts felt otherwise as they upheld affirmative action measures (Elliot and Ewoh, p215). One example is a case in 1987, in The United States v. Paradise the Supreme Court upheld that blacks were being discriminated against by being far underrepresented in the Alabama State troopers. The court mandated that for every white person hired and promoted a black person must be hired and promoted until 25% of the upper ranks were black (Brunner, p3)
During the Reagan and Bush terms the new members who were appointed the Supreme Court would not be accommodating for the...

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