The Sunset of Affirmative Action? City of Richmond v. J.A. Croson Co.

National Black Law Journal, Spring 1990

24 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2014

See all articles by Darrell Jackson

Darrell Jackson

University of Wyoming - College of Law

Christopher Davis

Independent

Date Written: 1990

Abstract

In 1989 the Supreme Court decided City of Richmond v. J.A. Croson in which it ruled against a "minority set-aside" program which required 30 percent of any Richmond governmental construction contract be awarded to Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) unless certain conditions were proven. Such set-aside programs were implemented to assist in leveling the playing field for minority-owned businesses, which businesses are especially underrepresented in the construction industry. This Comment proceeds to critically analyze the Croson decision through the lens of critical race theory. The Court's decision in this case reveals that many contemporary conservative courts do not feel "modern racism" is as extreme as "historical racism," and this disconnect is captured the reasoning employed by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, writing for the majority's opinion, and in Justice Thurgood Marshall's dissent. This Comment concludes by discussing how Croson will likely impact state and local governments and how such impacts will affect future affirmative action programs.

Keywords: City of Richmond v. J.A.Croson, Croson, affirmative action, minority business enterprises, set-asides, Critical Race Theory, racism

JEL Classification: J71, J78, K00, K10, K39, K49

Suggested Citation

Jackson, Darrell and Davis, Christopher, The Sunset of Affirmative Action? City of Richmond v. J.A. Croson Co. (1990). National Black Law Journal, Spring 1990, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2399688

Darrell Jackson (Contact Author)

University of Wyoming - College of Law ( email )

1000 E. University Ave.
Dept. 3035
Laramie, WY 82071
United States
(307) 766-2899 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.uwyo.edu/law/directory/darrell-jackson.html

Christopher Davis

Independent

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