City of Richmond v. J.A. Croson Co.

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City of Richmond v. J.A. Croson Co.
Court Supreme Court of the United States
Date decided January 23, 1989
Appealed from 4th Circuit


In 1961, JFK signed Executive Order 10925 (Establishing the President's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity). Soon after, state and local American governments followed the President's lead to ensure business opportunities for racial minorities.

In 1983, the City of Richmond, Virginia (defendant) passed the Minority Business Utilization Plan (MBUP). The city required construction contractors to sub-contract with 30% racial minorities (black, Hispanic, and Asian business owners).

In 1983, the City of Richmond awarded Croson (plaintiff) a contract to re-model the plumbing of the city jail.

Croson--who couldn't find a minority plumbing sub-contractor--applied for a waiver of the 30% minority sub-contractor. The Virginian city denied Croson's request.

Procedural History

Croson sued in the Virginia federal district court. He stated that the 30% racial minority requirement of the City of Richmond was unconstitutional.

Croson loses in the district and 4th Circuit courts.


The City has to identify a specific need for race-based action before establishing a specific minority-set-aside requirement.


  • Fullilove v. Klutznick, (1980)
  • Wygant v. Jackson Board of Education, (1986)

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