White-Owned Businesses File Civil Rights Lawsuit Against Houston Over Racial Discrimination

Landscapers say city rules forcing them to send business to minority-owner contractors run afoul of the U.S. Constitution.

A white Houston couple in the landscaping business filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the Texas city over its racially discriminatory contracting policy that forces them to send a portion of government contracts to minority-owned businesses.

Affirmative action programs and other programs that treat Americans differently on account of their race have come under increasing legal attacks in recent years.

In Richmond v. J.A. Croson Co. (1989), the Supreme Court held that government mandates for contractors to subcontract 30 percent of each job to minority businesses were unconstitutional.

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More recently, the Supreme Court struck down the use of racially discriminatory admissions policies at U.S. colleges—a longtime goal of the conservative movement.

In Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in June of this year in the majority opinion that for too long, universities have “concluded, wrongly, that the touchstone of an individual’s identity is not challenges bested, skills built, or lessons learned but the color of their skin.”

“Our constitutional history does not tolerate that choice,” he wrote in the ruling, which does not cover military academies.

Meanwhile, Jerry and Theresa Thompson



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