Supreme Court Appeal - U.S. State Department Hiring Based on Race Illegal

ATLANTA, GA/WASHINGTON, DC (Jan. 8, 2016): Can the U.S. State Department pick job applicants based on race - a policy declared unconstitutional by many courts including the U.S. Supreme Court? SLF says absolutely not.

Southeastern Legal Foundation today filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court supporting William Shea, who is challenging the State Department’s affirmative action program that effectively prohibits white applicants from starting at mid-level positions, even if they are qualified for the job. William E. Shea v. John Kerry, No. 15-742.

After 13 years of fighting in the lower courts, Shea is now petitioning the Supreme Court to hear his case. The case raises important questions of federal law including application of current Supreme Court precedent, expansion of statutory remedies, and the resulting expansion of affirmative action programs that would result if the lower court’s opinion is allowed to stand. SLF is joined by the Center for Equal Opportunity, CATO Institute, and the National Association of Scholars. SLF Senior Counsel Kim Hermann is joined by John J. "Jack" Park, Jr., former Alabama Assistant Attorney General and of counsel at Atlanta-based Strickland Brockington Lewis LLP.

"The U.S. Supreme Court has severely limited government agencies from using race-based quota programs for hiring, declaring such efforts unconstitutional," said Hermann. "This case provides the opportunity to raise those important precedents against a State Department hiring policy that creates unfair and arguably unconstitutional limits against job applicants based on their race - a practice that was unconstitutional four decades ago, and is just as unconstitutional in reverse today."

Click here for SLF's amicus brief in Shea v. Kerry, No. 15-742 Jan. 8, 2016

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