In January 3, 1972, Philip Paradise, Jr. filed a civil action alleging that the Director of Alabama Department of Public Safety and the Director of the Alabama Personnel Department was engaged in a continous and pervasive patterns and practices of excluding black from employment in Public Safety in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. The District Court then issued an order imposing qouta and requiring the Department to refrain from engaging in discrimination in its employment practices, including promotions.
In 1979, no blacks had attained yet the upper ranks of the Department. The District Court therefore approved the 1979 Decree, requiring the Directors Alabama Public Safety and Personnel Departments to utilize promotion procedures that conform with the Uniform Guidelines. However, in 1981, no black trooper was promoted and the second decree or the 1981 Decree was laid down and approved by the Department. After the 1981 Decree, only 5 were listed in the top half of the promotional register and the highest ranked black was number 80.
The Department then declared its need for additionl corporal but the United States objected to any use of the list in making promotions. In 1983, the District Court held that the test had an adverse impact on blacks, and ordered the Department to submit a plan to promote at least 15 qualified candidates to corporal in a manner that would not have an adverse racial impact. The District court proposed the third decree and as a result, the Department promoted eight blacks and eight whites under the court's order.
The United States appealed the District Court's orders on the ground that it violated the Equal Protection Clause but the Court of Appeals affirmed the order and so this case. The issue raised in this case is whether the District Court's orders are violative of the Equal Protection Clause embodied in the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constituton. DECISION The Supreme Court ruled that the District Court's order or the one-black-for-one-white promotion requirement is not violative of the Equal Protection Clause under the Fourteenth Amendment.
The District Court orders are justified because of its compelling governmental interest in eradicating the Department's pervasive, systematic, and obstinate discriminatory exclusion of the blacks. It has also been established that government bodies, including courts, may constitutionally employ racial classification essential to remedy unlawful treatment of racial or ethnic group subject to discrimination (Sheet Metal Works v. EEOC).
Moreover, the Supreme Court determined the three purposes of the order. First, the court sought to eliminate the effects of the Department's "long term, open, and pervasive" discrimination, including the absolute exclusion of blacks from its upper ranks. Second, the judge sought to ensure expeditious compliance with the 1979 and 1981 Decrees by inducing the Department to implement a promotion procedure that would not have an adverse impact on blacks.
Finally, the court needed to eliminate so far as possible the effects of the Department's delay in producing such a procedure. The Supreme Court also affirmed the that all of the stated purposes could be served only by ordering the promotion of eight blacks and eight whites, as requested by the plaintiff class. Furthermore, the Supreme Court hold that the qouta requirement was used to speed up the progress of hiring process and the requirement can be waived if no competitive black is available for the position.