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Inc. v. Pena Adarand Constructors - Significance, Affirmative Action Standards Clarified, Further Readings

court petitioner justices decision


Adarand Constructors, Inc.


Federico Pena, Secretary of Transportation

Petitioner's Claim

That race-based presumptions in federal subcontractor programs violate equal protection under the law.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioner

William Perry Pendley

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

Drew S. Days III, Solicitor General

Justices for the Court

Anthony M. Kennedy, Sandra Day O'Connor (writing for the Court), William H. Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas

Justices Dissenting

Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, David H. Souter, John Paul Stevens


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

12 June 1995


Declared that classifications based explicitly on race must be narrowly tailored.The Court furthered compelling government interests by overturning the lower court's ruling against Adarand by a vote of 5-4.

Related Cases

  • Fullilove v. Klutznick, 448 U.S. 448 (1980).
  • Richmond v. J. A. Croson Co., 488 U.S. 469 (1989).
  • Metro Broadcasting, Inc. v. Federal Communications Commission, 497 U.S. 547 (1990).
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