The United States 4th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that state agencies and departments may show favoritism to businesses owned by Blacks and Native Americans. Details about the case can be read here, but the gist of it is that a business submitting the lowest bid did not receive a contract with the North Carolina Department of Transportation because it did not do enough to encourage minority-owned subcontractors to participate. Businesses owned by other minorities, including women, were excluded from the ruling and, as such, cannot receive favorable treatment.
The notion that minorities should be proportionately represented in all industries is ridiculous for a number of reasons. But what is worse is that racial considerations, as opposed to considering the quality of work versus the bid price, now is recognized by the court as a legitimate factor for the state to consider when contracting. Governor Perdue has expressed her support for this affirmative action in state contracting via executive order. In addition to the distasteful racial considerations, the state wastes money by not accepting to lowest bidders for frivolous reasons.