Court Overturns City Set-Aside Program

1989

In Richmond v. J.A. Croson, the U.S. Supreme Court rejects a set-aside program in Richmond, Va., finding that it violates the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause. Thirty percent of each city construction contract must go toward services provided by minority-owned businesses. The Court finds that Richmond failed to show a compelling governmental interest for the plan. Further, the Court holds, the plan is not narrowly tailored to remedy the effects of past discrimination; it entitles minorities nationwide to preference over city citizens solely based on race.