News 2006

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Archived News




July 21, 2006 : April 25, 2006 : February 24, 2006 : August 3, 2005

July 21, 2006

  • The Federalist Society's Civil Rights Practice Group and Georgetown Student Chapter presented a panel on "Mandated Racial Admissions in Hiring at Law Schools? An Examination of the Newly Proposed ABA Standard." The event was held on March 20, 2006 and featured: Prof. David Bernstein, George Mason University School of Law; Roger Clegg, Center for Equal Opportunity; Prof. Peter Edelman, Georgetown Law Center; James Freeman, The Advancement Project; and Prof. Tom Morgan, George Washington University Law School. Please click HERE (PDF) to read a transcript of the event.

April 25, 2006


    by Roger Clegg*

    Practitioners challenging racially discriminatory affirmative-action plans are helped by a recent Fifth Circuit opinion.  There are three important parts to Dean v. City of Shreveport, No. 04-31163 (5th Cir. Jan. 25, 2006), which involved a challenge to the affirmative-action employment provisions for firefighters in a 1980 consent decree.
  • First, it holds that, as an Equal Protection Clause matter, a state actor using racial preferences in employment must periodically hit the “refresh” button on its claimed remedial predicate.  Thus, while there might have been sufficient evidence of anti-black discrimination for such preferences to have a “compelling” justification in 1980, it does not follow that that evidence justifies continued use of preferences more than two decades later.  Rather, there must be more recent evidence of discrimination.  This is an extremely important and valuable principle for those who would like to end the quotas frequently required by consent decrees.  The opinion also discusses how a court must ensure that the updated remedial predicate is based on “reliable statistical data,” not specious disparities; likewise, the opinion describes the necessary “narrow tailoring” requirements, including “Necessity of the Particular Relief and Efficacy of Alternative Remedies” ("On remand, the City must show that race-neutral or less-intrusive remedies would have been insufficient”), “Flexibility and Duration” (noting that “durations of remedies in this case are breathtakingly long”), “Relationship Between the Numerical Goal and the Relevant Labor Market,” and “Impact of Relief on Third Parties.”  

    Second, the opinion holds that there is an absolute, categorical Title VII ban on racially differentiated cutoff scores (even if they might be defended as consistent with the Equal Protection Clause), namely 42 U.S.C. 2000e-2(l), which was added to the statute when it was amended in 1991.  See also Nelson Lund, “The Law of Affirmative Action in and after the Civil Rights Act of 1991:  Congress Invites Judicial Reform,” 6 Geo. Mason L. Rev. 87 (1997).  

    And, third, it holds that Louisiana’s state constitution likewise contains an absolute, categorical ban--on all racial discrimination, whether or not allowed by federal constitutional or statutory law. 

    *Roger Clegg is president and general counsel of the Center for Equal Opportunity in Sterling, Virginia.

February 24, 2006

  • The Federalist Society's Civil Rights Law Practice Group hosted a conference on "Solomon Amendment: Can Congress Condition Benefits to Colleges and Universities on Their Willingness to Allow Military Recruiters on Campus?" The panel was held in Washington, D.C. on October 20, 2005 and featured: Shannen Coffin, Steptoe & Johnson; Prof. David Cole, Georgetown Law Center; Professor Chai Feldblum, Georgetown Law Center; Carter Phillips, Sidley Austin Brown & Wood; Gerald Walpin, KMZ Rosenman; and Prof. John Eastman, Chapman University School of Law. Please click HERE to read the transcript of this panel. (PDF)


August 3, 2005


  • The Federalist Society's Civil Rights Practice Group hosted a panel discussion on "The Constitution and the Boy Scouts: Equal Access to Government Land and the First Amendment." The panel was held in San Diego, CA on May 18, 2005 and featured: Prof. Alan Brownstein, University of California Davis School of Law; George Davidson, Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP; Prof. John Eastman, Chapman University School of Law; Eric Isaacson, Lerach Coughlin Stoia Celler Rudman & Robbins LLP; Dean Kenneth Starr, Pepperdine University School of Law and Dean Daniel Rodriguez, University of San Diego Law School, served as moderator. Please click HERE to read the transcript of this panel. (PDF)



2006 The Federalist Society