Republicans Warn Companies on Affirmative Action, DEI

GOP attorneys general send letter to large corporations
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 14, 2023 4:35 PM CDT
Warning to Companies Follows Affirmative Action Ruling
Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach, outside his Topeka office in May, was a lead on the letter sent to companies about race-based practices.   (AP Photo/John Hanna, File)

Now that the Supreme Court has ruled against affirmative action, a group of GOP state attorneys general has warned major corporations to leave race out of their hiring and promotion decisions. If they don't, the companies were told Thursday, "know that you will be held accountable—sooner rather than later—for your decision to continue treating people differently because of the color of their skin." The letter was sent by 13 Republicans, the Messenger reports, led by the attorneys general of Kansas and Tennessee, Kris Kobach and Jonathan Skrmetti.

The letter, which was sent to every Fortune 100 company, said the court's ruling "should place every employer and contractor on notice." The warnings about what it called illegal practices covered corporate diversity, equity, and inclusion programs, as well. The court didn't specifically rule out DEI programs, per Politico, but legal analysts expect more court challenges ahead. "If your company previously resorted to racial preferences or naked quotas to offset its bigotry," the letter says, "that discriminatory path is now definitively closed." It suggested that there are other ways to help "underprivileged individuals and communities." (More affirmative action stories.)

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