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Affirmative action in the U.S

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  1. Introduction.
  2. The History of Executive Order 11246.
  3. The policy of affirmative action as created under Executive Order 11246.
  4. Executive Order 11246 Until Bakke.
  5. Bakke and Equal Protection.
  6. The Aftermath of Bakke.
  7. Reforming Affirmative Action.
  8. Defining Affirmative Action.
  9. Abolishing Affirmative Action.
  10. Conclusion

In recent years, the issue of affirmative action has become one that has polarized debate in the United States. Affirmative action, which was originally conceptualized under President Johnson's Executive Order 11246 was supposed to provide social institutions with the mechanisms necessary to ensure that racial discrimination would not occur in the context of employment. Despite the fact that affirmative action has been touted as one of the most prominent pieces of legislation to ensure racial equality the reality is that problems with this statute have significantly weakened the ability of a social institutions and private organizations to effectively develop and conceptualize affirmative action policies that ensure the protection of minorities. With the realization that affirmative action has become such a controversial issue there is a clear impetus to consider how such a noble and altruistic proposition could have become so problematic for society.

[...] In handing down its decision in the Bakke case, the Supreme Court offered little guidance for either the University or other organizations facing the dilemma of implementing affirmative action policies. With respect to the issue of whether or not the quota system instituted by the University violated Bakke's right to equal protection under the Fourteenth amendment to the Constitution, the Supreme Court agreed that this was indeed the case. Organizations could not institute formal quota policies that could violate the rights of non-minority applicants. [...]

[...] As such, the specific issues raised in the Bakke case clearly stood outside of what legislators hoped to achieve through the development and implementation of affirmative action policies. In this context, it seems feasible to argue that the most pertinent method that could be utilized to reestablish the providence of affirmative action would be to effectively redefine the goals and intentions of affirmative action given the problems that have developed as a result of issues of reverse discrimination. While the issue of reforming affirmative action appears to be the most salient means to ensure that this policy continues to protect minorities against racial discrimination, there's considerable controversy over the specific methods that should be utilized to reform program. [...]

[...] In addition, the Order required government contractors to take affirmative action to ensure that the nondiscrimination goal is met (p. 87). Although the basic context of the law appears to be quite straightforward, Turner does note that as established Executive Order 11246 only provided a broad overview of the scope and breadth of antidiscrimination policies. In short, while Executive Order 11246 effectively set forth the specific goals that were to be achieved with respect to discrimination in employment it did not provide a salient means for organizations to effectively implement policies that were geared toward meeting the mandates of this executive order. [...]

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