Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Peľa, 515 U.S. 200, 5 (1995)

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Opinion of the Court

Justice O'Connor announced the judgment of the Court and delivered an opinion with respect to Parts I, II, III-A, III-B, III-D, and IV, which is for the Court except insofar as it might be inconsistent with the views expressed in Justice Scalia's concurrence, and an opinion with respect to Part III-C in which Justice Kennedy joins.

Petitioner Adarand Constructors, Inc., claims that the Federal Government's practice of giving general contractors on Government projects a financial incentive to hire subcon-tractors controlled by "socially and economically disadvantaged individuals," and in particular, the Government's use of race-based presumptions in identifying such individuals, violates the equal protection component of the Fifth Amendment's Due Process Clause. The Court of Appeals rejected Adarand's claim. We conclude, however, that courts should analyze cases of this kind under a different standard of review than the one the Court of Appeals applied. We there-Black Caucus by H. Russell Frisby, Jr., and Thomas J. Madden; for the Equality in Enterprise Opportunities Association, Inc., by Kenneth A. Martin; for the Latin American Management Association by Pamela J. Mazza; for the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law et al. by John Payton, John H. Pickering, Michael A. Cooper, Herbert J. Hansell, Thomas J. Henderson, Richard T. Seymour, Sharon R. Vinick, Steven R. Shapiro, Donna R. Lenhoff, and Marcia D. Greenberger; for the Minority Business Enterprise Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc., et al. by Donald B. Verrilli, Jr., and Maureen F. Del Duca; for the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council et al. by David Honig and Angela Campbell; for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People by Ronald D. Maines, Dennis Courtland Hayes, and Willie Abrams; and for the National Coalition of Minority Businesses by Weldon H. Latham.

Briefs of amici curiae were filed for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., by Elaine R. Jones, Theodore M. Shaw, Charles Stephen Ralston, and Eric Schnapper; for the National Association of Minority Businesses by Carlos M. Sandoval and Warren W. Grossman; for the Maryland Women Business Entrepreneurs Association et al. by Kathleen T. Schwallie, Janice K. Cunningham, and Peter A. Teholiz; and for the National Bar Association et al. by J. Clay Smith, Jr.

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