less than 1 minute read

Fullilove v. Klutznick

The Dissenting Opinion

Dissent in the case came from Justice Stewart, joined in his opinion by Justice Rehnquist. They expressed the view that the set-aside provision was unconstitutional on its face because it elevated one class of citizens above another, in violation of equal protection requirements. Stewart wrote:

The Fourteenth Amendment was adopted to ensure that every person must be treated equally by each State regardless of the color of his skin. The Amendment promised to carry to its necessary conclusion a fundamental principle upon which this Nation had been founded--that the law would honor no preference based on lineage . . . Today, the Court derails this achievement and places its imprimatur on the creation once again by government of privileges based on birth.

In a separate dissent, Justice John Paul Stevens decried the absence of hearings to determine where the discrimination was taking place within the construction industry, and which minority groups actually deserved government help.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1973 to 1980Fullilove v. Klutznick - The Facts Of The Case, The Supreme Court Decides, The Dissenting Opinion, Public Works Employment Act