The Sunset of Affirmative Action? City of Richmond v. J.A. Croson Co.

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In 1989 the Supreme Court decided City of Richmond v JA Croson in which it ruled against a minority setaside program which required 30 percent of any Richmond governmental construction contract be awarded to Minority Business Enterprises MBEs unless certain conditions were proven Such setaside programs were implemented to assist in leveling the playing field for minorityowned businesses which businesses are especially underrepresented in the construction industry This Comment proceeds to critically analyze the Croson decision through the lens of critical race theory The Courts decision in this case reveals that many contemporary conservative courts do not feel modern racism is as extreme as historical racism and this disconnect is captured the reasoning employed by Justice Sandra Day OConnor writing for the majoritys opinion and in Justice Thurgood Marshalls dissent This Comment concludes by discussing how Croson will likely impact state and local governments and how such impacts will affect future affirmative action programs

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