NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Race Preferences in the Court

February 10, 1997

Despite recent court rulings striking down racial preference laws, such programs have rarely been terminated and most are still going strong.

  • In 1994, a federal appeals court struck down a program of blacks-only academic scholarships at the University of Maryland, but observers say the university has apparently kept the race-based scholarships by shrouding the selection process in secrecy.
  • The University of Houston has reportedly vowed to continue race-based scholarship programs regardless of a warning from the Texas attorney general that state-funded institutions should stop using race preferences.
  • A white woman who applied in 1992 to attend the University of Texas law school and was turned down in favor of less-qualified minority applicants is still waiting to be admitted -- despite a favorable ruling on her case in a federal appeals court.
  • The U. S. Department of Justice continues to defend race-based federal programs favoring minorities in defense and highway construction programs in cases in New Mexico, Minnesota and Utah.

The "Section 8(a)" federal contract set-aside program awarded $5.8 billion in fiscal 1995 to minority- and female-owned firms. One-quarter of that went to just fifty companies -- at an average contract price of over $29 million apiece.

Source: David A Price, "Affirmative Action Shenanigans," Investor's Business Daily, February 10, 1997.


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