The Proliferation of State Statutes Using Racial and Ethnic Classifications
November 3, 2005Shawn Nevill, Roger Clegg
Classifications along racial and ethnic lines have long been criticized by those who favor equal treatment before the law. Indeed, the civil rights movement of the Twentieth Century was fought primarily to destroy the racial and ethnic classifications that existed in many statutes, and the stigmas that those statutes created. Statutes that disfavor minority groups have been invalidated by courts or repealed by legislatures; however, numerous statutes have been created in their place that assert preferences for one race or ethnicity over others, often in the form of"affirmative action" programs.