Law Dictionary

Wygant v. Jackson Board of Education

U.S. Case Law

legal Definition of Wygant v. Jackson Board of Education

476 U.S. 267 (1986), declared affirmative action an appropriate means to remedy past racial discrimination in hiring and employment. Ironically, the Court ordered in this case that a Jackson, Mississippi, school board reinstate several senior white teachers who had been dismissed to make room for newly hired black teachers, arguing that the board had failed to show a significant history of bias; had it done so, affirmative action would have been appropriate. In two similar cases the following year, the Court upheld the constitutionality of a one black–one white promotion quota (United States v. Paradise, 480 U.S. 149 (1987)) and the promotion of a woman over a man who scored higher on a job-qualification test (Johnson v. Transportation Agency, Santa Clara County, 480 U.S. 616 (1987)).

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