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Supreme Court Plans to Hear Job Bias Suit

WASHINGTON-The Supreme Court announced yesterday it will decide whether employees with no proven history of racial bias illegally discriminate against whites when giving preference to minority workers.

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In a case that may have more impact than last summer's Bakke ruling, the justices will hear three appeals stemming from a Louisiana job-discrimination law-suit.

Brain F. Weber, a white employee at Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Co.'s Grammercy, La, plant, charged the company's affirmative action program made him a victim of "reverse discrimination."

Two lower federal courts ruled that the program, aimed at landing more blacks in higher paying jobs, was illegal because it fostered racial bias against Weber.

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Bakke Redux?

In Grammercy, Weber expressed confidence the court would decide in his favor. "It's been almost four years since the suit was filed and I didn't expect to get near this status," he said. "I would have been satisfied to have resolved at any time in the past four years, but I guess it's too important to be settled this early."

The justices' decision will probably be reached sometime before next July.

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