WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a white man’s challenge of affirmative action policies at the National Institutes of Health, where he has applied for about one job every month since 1991.
“Affirmative action for minorities and women has become negative action against white males,” said Frank Lukacs in his petition to the high court.
Lukacs said in court documents that he followed his repeated job rejections with Equal Employment Opportunity complaints, more than 60 of them. About 50 of his complaints were not even processed or investigated by NIH, Lukacs said, charging that the jobs he was applying for were set aside for minorities, women and Hispanics.
Lukacs could not be reached to comment on his case. But Marc Stern, news chief at NIH, said Lukacs might have been denied those jobs for reasons other than his skin color and sex.
“In some of them (the jobs) it’s possible that another white male got it,” Stern said, adding that NIH is rarely sued over affirmative action policies.
“People may complain but they rarely sue,” Stern said.
In court filings, Lukacs charged that NIH’s affirmative action programs — which includes the Federal Equal Opportunity Recruitment Program and Affirmative Employment Program — are not constitutional and are not protected by other court cases.
His claim said affirmative action goals are determined by comparing the percentage of a particular minority group or gender in the federal workforce with the percentage of that same group in the private sector, either nationally or locally. Such programs are “thinly disguised quotas,” Lukacs said.
He argued that affirmative action eligibility should be determined by comparing the percentage of a minority group in a federal government department to the percentage of those doing the exact same job in the private sector.
Lukacs’ appeal also said that programs such as the Career Opportunity Training Agreement require the hiring of minorities who do not meet job requirements over qualified white males. He said his EEO complaints were ignored because the same minorities who created the programs also investigate complaints against the programs.
“The investigation of this white male petitioner’s EEO complaints against various elements of affirmative action and diversity have never been started for the last eight years,” he wrote. “At the same time other, EEO complaints were being actively and aggressively processed simply because these EEO complaints were from minorities or females or Hispanics.”
Stern could not speak to Lukacs’ complaint specifically, but said he found it hard to believe that one person could be qualified for as many jobs as Lukacs applied for at NIH.
“I don’t think we have 50 or 60 jobs that any one person can qualify for,” Stern said.