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                         Office of the Press Secretary 
                            (Martha's Vineyard, MA)
For Immediate Release                                  August 22, 1997

Statement by Charles Ruff, Counsel to the President

The President has made it clear that he wants to mend not end affirmative action. This Administration continues to support the non-remedial use of affirmative action where it is narrowly tailored to achieve a compelling purpose.

We believe that the Court of Appeals was wrong in holding that all non-remedial, race-conscious employment decisions are prohibited. We do not believe, however, that the Supreme Court needs to reach that question because the case can be decided on narrower grounds -- that is, the absence of an adequate justification for the school board's layoff decision.