The Instigator
Loofa
Pro (for)
Winning
19 Points
The Contender
andrewsnell
Con (against)
Losing
16 Points

It is not Constitutional to use quotas in choosing who to hire

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/22/2007 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,505 times Debate No: 836
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (9)

 

Loofa

Pro

This simply is not constitutional for this main reasons. First, in the Constitution it states that "everyone has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happyness." This means whe cannot simply say "because your white and male and not a minority, you can't have this job." Picture this you have a family to support and its all riding on the job interview that you had yesterday. You get a leter back from the employer you applied to and they tell you they can't hire you because they already have their limit of white males and can't hire anymore. Your family is crushed because you could not find a job. This definatly is not pursuit of happyness. In conclusing this can be in no way Constituional.
andrewsnell

Con

Let us first clarify several points involved in this debate. A hiring quota is a policy used by a business or agency where for every X number of employees hired, at least Y number must meet some specification. When we discuss the use of quotas, we must look at several different kinds of hiring quotas, as not all quotas are racial in nature. Debate also should be restricted to the involvement of the Federal government since we are specifically debating the constitutionality of hiring quotas.

My opponent contends singularly that the Constitution of the United States "states that 'everyone has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happyness [sic].'" and that by infringing the right to happiness, provides the inconsistency necessary for unconstitutionality. Yet, nowhere does the Constitution of the United States guarantee, in such terms, those inalienable rights that make the crux of my opponents case. Rather the text my opponent is paraphrasing is from the Declaration of Independence, and while this list of colonial grievances marked a tremendous leap in political theory and world history, it is only a declaration and not a charter of government--and therefore not germane to this debate. Further, the Pursuit of Happiness is not about the fairness of life or being hired to your dream job. The government does not have an obligation to ensure that you are happy. The obligation of the government is limited to "establishing justice, insuring domestic tranquility, promoting the general welfare, and securing the blessings of liberty." (1) The issue of constitutionality deals with the consistency of a law or action with the precedent of the Constitution.

Quotas, separate from any connotation, are not negative on the whole; indeed, in some fields, it is necessary or desirable to hire employees proportional to some factor. For example, when a group of police officers are hired, it is desirable to hire a certain percentage who are women or fluent in Spanish, to ensure the preservation of the rights of detained female or Spanish speaking individuals. Likewise, a company hiring a number of individuals for some new department may deem it wise to set a quota, requiring a number of the hired individuals to have a given skill. Realistically, the entire hiring process for every employee is nothing more than a quota system. One company may have a policy where 75% of their accountants have a CPA certification or that 25% of all new hires have experience with Microsoft Excel. Surely the Federal government would not make it illegal for business to set quotas on accountancy certifications?

To examine the constitutionality of a quota based hiring policy, we need to make another clarification. There are those people hired by private companies and those people hired by government agencies (like the FBI, Navy, or IRS), quasi-governmental agencies (the Federal Reserve, the Postal Service), and government funded agencies (public contractors). The part of the Constitution referenced when the issue of quotas is raised is the 14th Amendment, specifically, that no State shall "deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." (2) However, while prohibiting States from strict quota systems, this law allows, indeed, protects the right of private business to set their own hiring policies. The federal government is prohibited by the Constitution to regulate most American businesses--the three exceptions being foreign, interstate, and Indian commerce. (3) This is not to say that there are not state laws concerning quotas, but rather that businesses regulated by state law are outside of the realm of this debate

Turning to the public sphere, in the absence of case law specific to hiring quotas, we can analyze two recent Supreme Court cases concerning quotas in public university admissions. In Grutter v. Bollinger, the Supreme Court upheld that giving specific preference to certain minorities was constitutional. (4) While in in Gratz v. Bollinger, the Court affirmed that a strict quota system giving immediate and automatic preference to certain minorities was unconstitutional. (5) What we can infer from these rulings is that while, in public hiring, a mechanistic quota system is unconstitutional, among a pool of equally qualified candidates a quota system can be applied constitutionally.

To summarize, the constitutionally of a hiring quota system depends much on context. While no senator will ever deliver a impassioned speech about the ratio of Certified Public Accountants to Public Accountants in American tax firms, the use of racial and gender quotas is controversial. The Federal Government does not have the constitutional ability to regulate businesses not covered under the Commerce Clause. Therefore, the hiring policies of these companies falls outside of the Federal government's jurisdiction. As for public institutions and businesses that fall within the government's regulation, case law suggests that quotas can be applied to promote a realistically diverse organization, as long as it is applied to a group of equally qualified individuals.

(1) The Constitution of the United States, Preamble
(2) The Constitution of the United States, Amendments, Article 14
(3) The Constitution of the United States, Article 1, Section 8
(4) http://www.law.cornell.edu...
(5) http://www.law.cornell.edu...
Debate Round No. 1
Loofa

Pro

Loofa forfeited this round.
andrewsnell

Con

This topic is fascinating and far-reaching in its implications. I continue to affirm my contentions made in my first round argument and look forward to hearing my opponent's third round argument.
Debate Round No. 2
Loofa

Pro

Loofa forfeited this round.
andrewsnell

Con

andrewsnell forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Logical-Master 9 years ago
Logical-Master
Um, Andrewsnell is obviously the winner since he successfully rebutted all of "loofa's" arguments. Keep in mind that Loof forfeited his rounds, voters. Thus, there is really no reason to vote for him.
Posted by andrewsnell 9 years ago
andrewsnell
The Silent Consensus:

Yes, in Regents v. Bakke, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that government sponsored quotas in the context of public university admissions was unconstitutional; however, the recent Gratz and Grutter rulings make the 1978 decision much less black and white.
Posted by The_Silent_Consensus 9 years ago
The_Silent_Consensus
Quotas were declared unconstitutional back in 1978:

http://www.oyez.org...
9 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Vote Placed by 1dustpelt 5 years ago
1dustpelt
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Reasons for voting decision: Counter BewareitsAndrew.
Vote Placed by BewareItsAndrew 7 years ago
BewareItsAndrew
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Vote Placed by Loofa 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by solo 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by Logical-Master 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by Schlitz 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by aaeap2 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by andrewsnell 9 years ago
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