This policy, which encouraged positive discrimination for jobs and university places in favour of ethnic minorities and women has been in retreat for more than a year.
The celebrated case of a white teacher, Sharon Taxman, who sued for wrongful dismissal after her school chose to keep a black teacher on the staff, had been expected to decide the legality of "affirmative action" once and for all.
But last month Ms Taxman agreed to settle for more than $400,000 rather than go to the Supreme Court. The money was paid not by the school authorities (the defendants), but by the Black Leadership Forum, a group of civil rights organisations. Their only possible motive was to fend off a judgment that they anticipated would go against affirmative action. The settlement means that there will be no Supreme Court ruling, therefore no end to affirmative action.Reuse content