Skip to main content

Standards Tightened For Federal Affirmative Action Programs


Following up on a 1989 decision in Richmond v. J.A. Croson, the U.S. Supreme Court in Adarand Constructors v. Pena extends its careful review of federal affirmative action programs. The ruling says racial classifications “must serve a compelling interest and must be narrowly tailored to further that interest.” This decision overturns the 1980 Fullilove v. Klutznick ruling, which upheld a law requiring that 10 percent of federal funds used in local public works projects be used for services or supplies from minority-owned business.