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Business, Government and Society Case Study

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What constitutional issue is raised in the Adarand litigation?

The famous Adarand litigation concerned the case of infringed rights of women and immigrant workers, the population that was highly susceptible to risks of being maltreated by their employers. According to the details provided by Steiner and Steiner, the case was filed by a “white male,” as the case study says, who “argued that preferential treatment for minority and female contractors was unconstitutional” (Steiner and Steiner 620).

According to the evidence presented in the case study, affirmative action was undertaken to provide the female and immigrant workers with the rights that they deserved. However, the case never actually went any further; even though there have been attempts to consider it in the Supreme Court, the case was still dismissed, which showed that the fight for the rights of women and minorities was only starting to brew.

After the Supreme Court’s 1995 decision in Adarand v. Peña what requirements did an affirmative action program have to meet to be constitutional?

Since the case of Adarand v. Peña concerned the infringement of rights of women and the immigrant workforce, it must be mentioned that the case was already related to the Constitutional issues. The Constitution of the USA guarantees that every single person disregarding the age, gender beliefs, or any other feature of his/hers has indefeasible rights, such as the right to live, vote, and, which is the most important in the given case, work and get paid for the services that (s)he provides. Seeing how this right has been infringed by the company, the case closely relates to the Constitution. However, the affirmative program, which came as the decision of the Supreme Court, Adarand v. Peña case, was not supposed to be based on the principles of a “color-blind” constitution and be based on the differences in the specifics of gender and culture; these specifics, however, must not be used as a basis for the employees’ evaluation.

Was the decision of the Court majority correct? Why or why not?

The court decision can be considered from different viewpoints. On the one hand, it is clear that justice has been restored and the minorities, as well as the female population, who had suffered from the negligence of Adarand, were avenged and offered a refund for their moral abuse. In addition, it is necessary to stress that the constitutional issues have been brought up once again, reminding people of the values that they must pursue in their career and personal life. On the other hand, the fact that the court decision tended to stress the difference between the immigrant and female population and the rest of the employees might be viewed as a touch segregationist. Anyway, the decision seems correct on the surface, since it helps make sure that people’s rights and freedoms should be taken into account. The premises for the given decision, however, are rather questionable.

In a concurring opinion, Justice Scalia said that race classification by government was never legitimate. In dissenting opinions, Justices Stevens, Souter, and Ginsburg argued that race-conscious remedies were justified. What were their arguments? With whom do you agree? Why?

According to Justice Scalia, “under our Constitution, there can be no such thing as either a creditor or a debtor race” (Steiner and Steiner 624). A very legitimate point, this argument stems from the basic concept of the Constitution, i.e., equality. Justices Stevens, Souter, and Ginsburg, in their turn, also offer a very compelling argument: “remedial race-based preferences” perform a very specific function in the society; to be more exact, they reflect “a desire to foster equality in the society” (Steiner and Steiner 624). Stevens’ idea might seem to contradict itself; on second thought, however, it makes perfect sense. Only by acknowledging the existing differences between races and nations, one can learn to appreciate other cultures and, therefore, will not be able to return to the racist concepts that might have rushed through one’s mind once.

Following Adarand v. Peña, the district court held that the affirmative action program in federal highway contracts was unconstitutional. Do you agree with this decision? Why or why not?

It seems that the conclusion of the district court is wrong. As it has been stated above, the provided solution serves the purpose of solving interracial and gender-related conflicts perfectly.

Do you believe that the Department of Transportation’s current rules for helping DBEs get highway construction contracts to pass the strict scrutiny requirement?

It appears that the Department of Transportation’s current rules are stringent enough for the DBE’s to pass the test. However, it is noteworthy that the financial aspect of the Department of Transportation’s policy must be reconsidered.

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1. IvyPanda. "Business, Government and Society." March 19, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/business-government-and-society/.


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IvyPanda. "Business, Government and Society." March 19, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/business-government-and-society/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Business, Government and Society." March 19, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/business-government-and-society/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Business, Government and Society'. 19 March.

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