Columbus Set-Aside Policy Ruled Unconstitutional Again

Kegler Brown Construction Newsletter

Judge Graham of the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio, has recently ruled in a 237 page opinion that the City of Columbus did not follow a pattern of discrimination in its minority contracting and therefore its minority contracting set-aside policy is unconstitutional. The City's policy had adopted goals of 10% for minority owned businesses and 7% for women owned businesses.

Under the U.S. Supreme Court case of City of Richmond v. J.A. Croson Co., governments attempting to implement set-aside programs must prove that discrimination occurred by that governmental body. Judge Graham ruled the City of Columbus was unable to prove that such discrimination against minority and female contractors occurred by the City of Columbus. It is uncertain at this point whether the City will appeal.