Affirmative action remains a focal point of public debate as the result of legal and political developments at the federal, state, and local levels. In recent years, federal courts have reviewed minority admissions programs to state universities in ...
Texas, Georgia, Michigan, and Washington, questioning in general the constitutional status of racial and ethnic diversity policies in public education; invalidated minority preferences in public and private employment as a violation of constitutional and federal statutory rights; defeated a Federal Communications Commission policy requiring radio licensees to adopt affirmative minority recruitment and outreach measures; and nullified state and local efforts to increase minority group participation as contractors and subcontractors on publicly-financed construction projects. Ongoing legal controversy surrounds the Supreme Courts 1995 ruling in Adarand Constructors Inc. v. Pena, setting constitutional standards for race-based affirmative action by the federal government. The case returned to the High Court for a third appearance, as Adarand Constructors Inc. v. Mineta, but on November 27, 2001 the Justices side-stepped the constitutional issues posed and dismissed the appeal as "improvidently granted". This book also provides a broad, but by no means exhaustive, survey of federal statutes and regulations that specifically refer to race, gender, or ethnicity as factors to be considered in the administration of any federal program. Such measures may include, but are not limited to, goals, timetables, set-asides, and quotas, as those terms are generally (however imperfectly) understood.