Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Pena

In Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Pena (1995) 515 U.S. 200, the Supreme Court reviewed a clause in a public contract that awarded additional compensation to highway contractors who awarded subcontracts to small businesses " 'owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.' " (Id. at p. 209.) Finding that the definition of such individuals employed racial classifications, the court held that the clause was subject to strict scrutiny to determine whether it was narrowly tailored to serve a compelling governmental interest. (Id. at p. 227.) Since the lower courts had failed to apply this standard of review, the case was remanded for further proceedings. (Id. at pp. 237-239.)