Is Affirmative Action Fair or Inherently Unfair? A Look at the American Version and Some Comparisons With Other Countries
Hungarian Labour Law E-Journal 2017/2
13 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2018
Date Written: February 1, 2017
While the United States Supreme Court building facade reads "Equal justice for all," governmental efforts - albeit beneficially intended to remedy past discrimination and achieve illusive diversity by affirmative action - seem to contradict this equality of justice notion.
Affirmative action efforts to increase numbers of minorities in the workforce and higher education have faced challenges under the equal treatment principle. Legally mandated discrimination in the form of affirmative action - or, as it is referenced in Europe, positive discrimination - exists not only in the United States, but in post-Good Friday Agreement Northern Ireland, post-apartheid South Africa, and some continental European states.
The primary focus will be on the development of American laws/programs implementing favoritism. Court decisions on the lawfulness of such programs are synthesized in an effort to perceive an evolving standard. Other selected countries' use of disparity of treatment to achieve a stated worthy result compares.
Keywords: equality, discrimination, affirmative action, comparisons, disparity
JEL Classification: K1, K10, K19
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation