President Joe Biden called on U.S. corporations to stand by hiring practices that advantage applicants from certain racial groups over others in remarks delivered Thursday in response to the Supreme Court striking down race-based college admissions.
“Companies who are already realizing the value of diversity should not use this decision as an excuse to turn away from diversity either. We cannot go backwards,” Biden said. “I know it is a severe disappointment to so many people, including me, but we cannot let it be a permanent setback. We need to remember that we have to find a path forward” Biden said of the decision and its implications.
Legal pundits have indicated that the ruling could lead to future litigation against discriminatory race-based processes in other areas of American life, including corporate hiring.
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A growing number of American corporations have adopted hiring practices which incorporate preferences for certain racial identities as part of a wider push to align their corporate values with diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) guidelines.
As an extension of that policy, the Biden administration has required that corporations pledge to meet certain DEI goals in order to be eligible to receive certain federal funds for particular initiatives.
Chief Justice John Roberts authored the majority opinion for the case, writing that universities had “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.”
On his first day in office, Biden issued an executive order mandating that all federal agencies “pursue a comprehensive approach to advancing equity for all, including people of color and others who have been historically underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality.”
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