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Emerging Legal Constraints on Affirmative Action in Police Agencies and How to Adapt to Them

NCJ Number
Journal of Criminal Justice Volume: 29 Issue: 1 Dated: January/February 2001 Pages: 11-19
Eric William Moore
Kent B. Joscelyn
Date Published
February 2001
9 pages
This article is an attempt to examine and explain recent developments in the law relating to affirmative action programs affecting all types of public institutions, including criminal justice agencies, in particular, police agencies.
The article attempts to explain how changing court interpretations of the Equal Protection Clause and of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 are imposing increasing limitations on affirmative action programs in the public sector, particularly on cases involving police departments. Part I examines the constitutional principles that govern the creation and survival of affirmative action programs. Part II discusses the most important Federal statute on the issue, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as well as Supreme Court cases interpreting the statute. In Part III, recent lower Federal court decisions are summarized and explained. Part IV attempts to place these legal developments within a broader context of minority and female representation with particular reference to police. Finally, Part V attempts to provide some general guidance for criminal justice administrators to consider in formulating, revising, or implementing affirmative action programs in ways that comply with the law. References, cited cases