July 19, 1995
TO THE PRESIDENT:
We are pleased to submit this report on the Review of Federal
Affirmative Action Programs. When you requested this analysis
four months ago, you stated your belief that a candid and balanced
description of these programs, including a discussion of what
is known about their strengths and weaknesses, would provide a
valuable starting point for a national conversation on the challenges
of creating truly equal opportunity. In that spirit, dozens of
Administration officials have studied the details of various programs
together with analyses from many sources. This Report summarizes
that evidence and, where appropriate, offers preliminary conclusions
of fact based on that evidence. In addition, we have taken the
policy principles you provided at the beginning of our effort
and applied those in a preliminary fashion to the key programs.
The result is a set of policy recommendations for your consideration.
Several of our conclusions and recommendations, however, must
be considered tentative and provisional because the intervening
Supreme Court decision in Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Peña
now requires that many such judgments be based on the much more
detailed empirical analysis entailed by the constitutional standard
of "strict scrutiny." Nevertheless, we believe our preliminary
views are responsive to your request, and will be a useful starting
point for the Attorney General and the agencies as they work to
ensure full compliance with Adarand.
We want to note the special contributions of Peter Yu, Susan
Liss and Michael Waldman in preparing this Report, together with
the diligent and thoughtful participation of the subcabinet and
senior officials who worked with us in conducting the review itself.
We and the Steering Committee were supported by an outstanding
team of policy analysts and attorneys drawn from several agencies,
who conducted the basic research.
Finally, we want to express our appreciation to you for this
opportunity and challenge. We hope this Report will serve well
in the ongoing debate over affirmative action.
- George Stephanopoulos
- Senior Adviser to the President for Policy and Strategy
- Christopher Edley, Jr.
- Special Counsel to the President