Mountain Gravel Case Summary

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Adarand Constructors Inc. put in a low bid to Mountain Gravel for a construction job. Mountain Gravel was given a contract from the Department of Transportation. Gonzalez Transportation Company was chosen instead. Gonzalez Transportation was owned by Hispanic- American’s. Mountain Gravel made the decision because of the Small Business Act. Under the Act it was federal policy to boost subcontracting to disadvantaged people. The Act specified that disadvantaged people include those who were racially or ethnically discriminated against in the past. The Act created a goal for 5 percent of all subcontracts to go to these individual’s companies. The Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act of 1987, said 10 percent of, “appropriated…show more content…
Law currently allows “intermediate scrutiny” for gender discrimination and “strict scrutiny” for discrimination based on race. This idea allows government to create affirmative action programs for women more easily than for minorities even though the Equal Protection Clause original purpose was to protect slaves from discrimination. A Court fixated on abstract principles is in danger of ignoring common sense. The Court’s idea of “congruence” means a Congressional affirmative action program and state affirmative action program are the same. Important differences are completely disregarded. In Metro Broadcasting, the Court sustained a program meant to make broadcasting more diverse. The Court recognized the “special competence” of Congress. In Fullilove several opinions were written stating the Congress needs to be looked at as a more equal branch. Congress creates legislation aimed at creating equal protection. In Croson, Justice O’Connor wrote about the difference between Congress and state governments. Justice O’Connor wrote that Congress has the specific constitutional responsibility to administer laws pertaining to the Fourteenth Amendment. Federal affirmative action programs embody the whole countries elected officials. State programs may have an effect on nonresidents. Citizens may feel the effects of “race-conscious programs,”…show more content…
The Court has recognized that the laws at the center of this case deal with the consequences of racism against minority races. The idea of equality among races has been ignored for most of this country’s history. Plessy v. Ferguson (1967) did not just uphold segregation, but even the dissenting Justice Harlan acknowledged that whites are superior. Loving v. Virginia (1967) is the first case where it was certain that the Constitution and the Court would not hold one race superior to the other. The Court acknowledges racial inequality and Congress’s right to “act affirmatively” to prevent discrimination and its effects. Still similar people applying for the same job still may be treated differently based on their race. Minorities may have a difficult time finding housing because of prejudices held by landlords, real estate agents, and mortgage lenders. Minority business owners sometimes cannot secure contracts despite having the highest bid. Affirmative action may fulfill the Fourteenth Amendment’s idea of equal protection. The precedent from this case will still need to develop (O’Brien
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