Affirmative Action: Team 3: Elizabeth, Dan, Courtney, Jonathan, Brittany, and Sarah
Defined: • The Merriam -Webster dictionary defines Affirmative Action two ways: • A policy or a program that seeks to redress past discrimination through active measures to ensure equal opportunity, as in education and employment. • An active effort (as through legislation) to improve the employment or educational opportunities of members of minority groups or women. • Translation: • Installing legal regulations and laws that ensure discrimination against a gender or minority does not persist.
FRAMEWORK: • “Affirmative action policies include any policies that • (a) attempt to actively dismantle institutionalized or informal cultural norms and systems of ascriptive group-based disadvantage, and the inequalities historically resulting from them, and/or that • (b) attempt to promote an ideal of inclusive community, as in ideals of democracy, integration, and pluralism (multiculturalism), (c) by means that classify people according to their ascriptive identities (race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc.). • 2 categories: • (1) First, arguments that oppose affirmative action policies on moral principle (considerations of justice). • (2) Second, arguments that oppose these policies on grounds of their bad consequences: that they are self-defeating, harmful, or inefficient.
CASE WORK: • International Union v. Johnson Controls • Hiring and Promotions based upon Gender • Firefighters v. Stotts • Hiring and Promotions based upon minority (race) • Regents of the University of California v. Bakke • Quotas and Reverse Discrimination
International Union v. Johnson Controls • The District Court ruled for the employer it maintained a business necessity required a policy to protect a fetus. • The United States Court of Appeals upheld the District Court, ruling that where there is a substantial health risk to a fetus and it is transmitted only through women and there is no alternative as effective in protecting a fetus, such a policy is allowed. • The United States Supreme Court reversed. It held that the policy was sex discrimination forbidden under Title VII
Firefighters v. Stotts • Background: • “pattern or practice of making hiring and promotion decisions on the basis of race” • District Court Decision: • Court of Appeals Decision: • Supreme Court Decision:
Regents of the University of California v. Bakke: • Background: • Race could be one of the factors considered in choosing a diverse student body inuniversity admissions decisions • use of quotas in such affirmative action programs was not permissible • Bakke had twice been rejected by the medical school, even though he had a higher grade point average than a number of minority candidates who were admitted.
Affirmative Action Revisited: • Reverse Discrimination can occur from improper enforcement of quotas.