Say It Ain’T So, Mr. President!
Administration sources say that today the Department of Transportation will send to Congress its draft reauthorization of the federal highway statute (called “TEA-21″). This is the same legislation that has in it contracting preferences for women and selected racial and ethnic groups, and which in various forms has already made three trips to the U.S. Supreme Court. Given that the Court has clearly signaled its skepticism about this discrimination, and given that the President himself has said that he opposes preferences where there are race-neutral alternatives (as there are in the contracting context, even more than in the college admissions context), then the Bush administration’s version of the new bill won’t contain these discriminatory provisions, right? Wrong, the sources say. Please, say it ain’t so, Mr. President!