WHEREAS, HB 360 has been introduced in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to prohibit affirmative action based on race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin in the Commonwealth system of public employment, public education, or public contracting;

WHEREAS, federal legislation to outlaw affirmative action, such as S. 318 (sponsored by Senator Jesse Helms), is now pending in Congress;

WHEREAS, racial minorities and women in all walks of life have benefited from affirmative action policies properly applied;

WHEREAS, affirmative action was designed to correct well-documented historical and institutionalized exclusion of and discrimination against women and racial minorities;

WHEREAS, the U.S. Supreme Court has consistently upheld the use of affirmative action remedies to correct historical discrimination based on race, gender, and color. (Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Pena, 63 U.S.L.W. 4523 (6/13/95), Johnson v. Transportation Agency, Santa Clara County, 480 U.S. 616 (1987); U.S. v. Paradise, 480 U.S. 149 (1987); Local Number 93, International Association of Firefighters v. Cleveland, 478 U.S. 501 (1986); Local 28 Sheetmetal Workers Int'l v. EEOC, 478 U.S. 421 (1986); United Steel Workers v. Weber, 443 U.S. 193 (1979));

WHEREAS, increasing gender and racial diversity in the American legal and political landscape remains an important goal of this Association;

WHEREAS, the demographic fabric of the United States is continuously changing, with more women and persons of color entering the workforce;

WHEREAS, racial and gender disparities continue in the distribution of political and economic influence and in the access to services and opportunities (Report of the Glass Ceiling Commission, March 1995; see Swoboda, F., Glass Ceiling Firmly in Place, Panel Finds, Washington Post, March 16, 1995);

WHEREAS, affirmative action remedies and policies are neither quotas nor mandates to hire unqualified persons;

WHEREAS, the Philadelphia Bar Association adopted a resolution to support the Equal Opportunity Commission Affirmative Action Guidelines, including the use of goals and timetables, on June 26, 1986;

WHEREAS, the Philadelphia Bar Association passed a resolution supporting Executive Order 11246 requiring federal contractors "to take positive steps, including establishing goals and timetables to include qualified minorities in their workforces" on June 26, 1986;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Philadelphia Bar Association supports the use of organized efforts to modify hiring, training, promotion, contracting, recruitment, selection and layoff policies to remedy perceived under-representation;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Philadelphia Bar Association authorizes its Chancellor and Board to take all appropriate steps to oppose legislation designed to dismantel or undermine affirmative action remedies and policies, such as HB 360 and S. 318.

ADOPTED: July 27, 1995