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United States v. Paradise

Significance, White Officers Intervene, "narrowly Tailored" Requirement Found Acceptable, Impact


United States


Phillip Paradise, Jr.

Petitioner's Claim

The United States claimed that the anti-race discrimination remedy ordered by the district court violated the Equal Protection Clause under the Fourteenth Amendment. (The court order required a "one-for-one" promotion scheme of one black police officer for every white police officer advanced to the rank of corporal.)

Chief Lawyer for Petitioner

Charles Fried, U.S. Solicitor General

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

J. Richard Cohen

Justices for the Court

Harry A. Blackmun, William J. Brennan, Jr. (writing for the Court), Thurgood Marshall, Lewis F. Powell, Jr., John Paul Stevens

Justices Dissenting

Sandra Day O'Connor, William H. Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia, Byron R. White


Washington D.C.

Date of Decision

25 February 1987


The Supreme Court affirmed prior decisions of the lower courts, that race-conscious relief ordered by the district court did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment. They held that principle of hiring and promoting one black for one white police officer was appropriate and did not violate the constitutional rights of due process or equal protection.

Related Cases

  • Louisiana v. United States, 380 U.S. 145 (1965).
  • Green v. New Kent County School Board, 391 U.S. 430 (1968).
  • Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, 402 U.S. 1 (1971).
  • Sheet Metal Workers v. EEOC, 478 U.S. 421 (1986).

Further Readings

  • Biskupic, Joan, and Elder Witt. Congressional Quarterly's Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court, 3rd ed. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, Inc., 1996.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1981 to 1988