Could The Supreme Court Ruling on Affirmative Action Impact Small Business Contracting?
After the Supreme Court’s decision to remove race as a factor in college admissions many local municipalities and city officials wonder if the decision will have a trickle down affect on local small businesses. “I suspected at the time of the (Supreme Court) issue that it was not going to be long until somebody connected the dots from this college admissions realm over to this contracting realm,” said Derk Van Raalte, an attorney with the city of North Charleston who brought up the topic at the July 20 finance committee meeting.
Historically small and minority business programs were created and designed to encourage equality and increase diversity with contracting between cities and small businesses.
The concern is following a letter addressed to Fortune 100 CEOs from 13 State Attorney Generals reiteratinghow the high court’s decision to remove race-conscious admissions from higher education plays a role in hiring practices and reminding employers race cannot be a factor in hiring employees or contractors. Those attorney generals were South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, Kansas Attorney General Kris W. Kobach, Tennessee Attorney General and Reporter Jonathan Skrmetti, Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin, Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, Nebraska Attorney General Mike Hilgers, Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey and Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen.
The potential impacts of the Supreme Court’s ruling and the letter leaves many to wonder about the changes coming next and the lasting affects on diversity, equity and inclusion. According to a Bloomberg report, “Almost 70 employers, including General Electric, Google and JetBlue Airways, warned that without affirmative action they’ll lose access to “a pipeline of highly qualified future workers and business leaders” and will struggle to meet diversity hiring goals.”
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