UNITED STATES v. PARADISE

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Case Basics
Docket No. 
85-999
Petitioner 
United States
Respondent 
Paradise
Advocates
(on behalf of the respondent)
(on behalf of the petitioner)
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Term:
Facts of the Case 

In response to a series of NAACP-initiated lawsuits in the 1970s, the Alabama Department of Public Safety was required to implement a promotion scheme in which half of the department's promotions to certain ranks would go to black officers if enough qualified blacks were available.

Question 

Did the one-black-for-one-white promotion scheme violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment?

Conclusion 
Decision: 5 votes for Paradise, 4 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Equal Protection

In a plurality opinion, the Court upheld the promotion plan. The scheme did not impose an "absolute bar" to white advancement, was narrowly drawn to include only specific ranks in the department, and, according to the four justices who voted to affirm it, was "required in light of the Department's long and shameful record of delay and resistance" in complying with past judicial decisions. It is important to remember that courts had first found the Department's practices unconstitutional in 1972.

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UNITED STATES v. PARADISE. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 10 September 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1986/1986_85_999>.
UNITED STATES v. PARADISE, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1986/1986_85_999 (last visited September 10, 2014).
"UNITED STATES v. PARADISE," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed September 10, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1986/1986_85_999.