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Adarand V. Pena

In: Business and Management

Submitted By kdumas
Words 509
Pages 3
Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Pena

1. Facts
Mountain Gravel & Construction Company was granted a contract for a highway construction project in Colorado. Mountain Gravel then looked for bids to sub-contract out some work for the project. Two companies placed bids, Adarand and Gonzales Construction Company. Adarand placed the lower of the two bids, however, Mountain Gravel would receive more funds if they sub-contracted out work to businesses controlled or owned by “socially and economically disadvantaged individuals” – which Gonzales was, while Adarand was not. Mountain Gravel awarded the work to Gonzales. The plaintiff is Adarand, who states that “the presumption set forth in that statute discriminates on the basis of race in violation of the Federal Government’s Fifth Amendment obligation not to deny anyone equal protection of the laws…” (Reed, Shedd, Morehead, and Pagnattaro). 2. History
There are two other cases similar to this that can easily relate. Regents of Univ. of California v. Bakke, 98 S. Ct. 2733. This was a challenge towards state-run medical schools that saved a certain number of positions open for minority students. Justice Powell wrote, “The guarantee of equal protection cannot mean one thing when applied to one individual and something else when applied to a person of another color” (Reed, Shedd, Morehead, and Pagnattaro). Richmond v. J.A. Croson Co., 109 S. Ct. 706 (1989) was a city’s desire to have 30% of its contracting work be completed by minority-owned businesses. The Court decided that, “The standard of review under the Equal Protection Clause is not dependent on the race of those burdened or benefited by a particular classification” (Reed, Shedd, Morehead, and Pagnattaro). The Court also advised that a standard review of racial classification should be “strict scrutiny”. The Court advised that “A state or local subdivision…has the authority to eradicate the effects of private discrimination within its own legislative jurisdiction” (Reed, Shedd, Morehead, and Pagnattaro). 3. Issue
Is the opinion of disadvantage based on race alone and also favored treatment, which is a practice that violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment as well as the Due Process Clause of the 5th Amendment? On what basis will the court assess the constitutionality of giving incentives to promote the award of subcontracting jobs to minority owned businesses? 4. Holding
Racial classifications must be analyzed under a strict scrutiny standard and such classifications are constitutional only if they are narrowly tailored measures that advance persuasive governmental interests (Reed, Shedd, Morehead, and Pagnattaro).

5. Reasoning
The court held that all governmental action based on race should be subject to detailed judicial scrutiny to ensure that the personal right to equal protection has not been violated. In order to not break the Constitution, there must be a compelling government interest. 6. Result
The result of this case was vacated and remanded for further proceedings.

Works Cited
Reed, O. Lee, Peter J. Shedd, Jere W. Morehead, and Marisa Anne Pagnattaro. The Legal And Regulatory Environment Of Business. 15th. New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2010. Print.

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