Affirmative Action burst onto the American employment landscape about 45 years ago as a means to combat decades of racial discrimination by employers. That year, all Federal agencies were required by Federal law to put into place certain programs meant to ensure that all job applicants were considered without regard to “race, creed, color, or national origin,” and to guarantee that these factors played no role in the treatment of employees once hired. Eventually, Affirmative Action grew to include other protected classes, such as persons with disabilities, women and military veterans.

Almost out of the gate, however, challenges to the Affirmative Action program abounded,