ERIC Number: ED249339
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1984-Sep-20
Reference Count: N/A
Remarks of Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division, before the Affirmative Action Association (Chicago, IL, September 20, 1984). September 20, 1984).
Reynolds, Wm. Bradford
"Affirmative action" is the term typically used to refer to two contrasting values: the value of equal opportunity and the value of equal results. The Justice Department under the Reagan Administration, however, draws a clear distinction between the two, and is committed to the "original" meaning of affirmative action. That is, the Administration supports the principle that individuals previously neglected in the search for talent must be allowed to apply and be considered along with all others for available jobs or contracting opportunities, but that hiring and selection decisions would be made from the pool of applicants without regard to race, creed, color, sex, or national origin. The administration rejects the remedial use of goals, quotas, or other such numerical devices designed to achieve a particular balance as to race or sex in the workforce. This position is supported by a recent Supreme Court decision (Firefighters' Local Union v. Stotts) and policy considerations. In terms of policy, it is incorrect to equate underrepresentation with discrimination. In addition, it is neither remedial nor equitable to require the hiring, promotion, or retention of a person who has not suffered discrimination solely because that person is a member of a group that might have been discriminated against. Finally, racial quotas and other preferential treatment unjustifiably infringe on the legislative interests of third parties, such as incumbent employees. To sum up, wherever it occurs and however it is explained, no action disadvantaging a person because of color or gender is affirmative. (GC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Department of Justice, Washington, DC. Civil Rights Div.