Adarand v. Pena
1. What constitutional issue is raised in the Adarand litigation? The issue is an affirmative action case that make its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The court was being asked to decide whether categorizing citizens by race in order to determine the kind of treatment those individuals would receive was constitutional or not. This is not something new to be tried within the United States Supreme Court system. Attorneys for each side of the Adarand v. Pena case presented to the court, but ultimately the court would make no decision on it, in the end. 2. After the Supreme Court’s 1995 decision in Adarand v Pena what requirements did an affirmative action program have to meet to be constitutional? The Supreme Court held that the plan was a race classification and presumed to be unconstitutional unless it was "narrowly tailored" to meet a "compelling government interest." President Bill Clinton promised to “mend, not end” affirmative action after the Adarand decision sparked a national debate. The Constitution was getting heat for being “color-blind” and for “trampling the constitutional rights of countless innocent individuals.” 3. Was the decision of the Court majority correct? Why or why not? Because the Supreme Court elected to decide principles of the law and not decide if the subcontractor compensation was constitutional; it sent the case down to the Tenth Circuit. The Tenth Circuit in turn sent it down to the originator of the case. In 1997, almost two years after the Supreme Court's decision, the district court issued an opinion. Judge John L. Kane Jr. applied the strict scrutiny test to the subcontractor compensation clause, and the result invalidated the clause. The clause passed the part of the test requiring the government to show a compelling interest. However, the clause failed the test of narrow tailoring. Judge Kane held that basing social and economic disadvantage solely on race was unfair. The reason: Under the...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document