Nation: The Tale of Title VII

While the Bakke decision does not specifically apply to jobs and promotions, that is perhaps the most tangled and controversial area of affirmative-action programs, and the lower courts have had a hard time dealing with the problem.

John F. Kennedy was the first President to call for "affirmative steps," in Executive Order 10925, issued in 1961. With that measure barring job discrimination among contractors doing business with the Federal Government, Kennedy recognized that desegregation would take more than the mere absence of overt bias among contractors. So Washington told contractors on federal projects...

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