On his first day in office, President Joseph R. Biden signed an executive order to advance racial equity throughout the federal government by taking a “systematic approach to embedding fairness in decision-making,” redressing inequities, and advancing equal opportunity in agency policies and programs.
This order is an important step. President Biden’s executive order promises new, proactive engagement by the administrative state to promote racial equity and other dimensions of inclusion in agency programs. But federal administrative agencies have played a key role in structuring racial segregation and sustaining racial inequality in housing, health care, access to transit, and wealth. President Biden’s executive order does not, however, lay out specifics, leaving it to agencies and the Office of Management and Budget to give shape to the aspirations of the executive order.
Commentators have offered a range of promising ideas, including retooling or abandoning cost-benefit analysis to advance racial justice and equity considerations, scoring policies and regulations for their impact on racial equity, and disaggregating agency data by race, ethnicity, and gender, among other characteristics, to help agencies better understand the impact of programs and regulations on particular communities.
Here are three additional ideas to consider.
Law | Law and Race | President/Executive Department
Center for Constitutional Governance
Olatunde C. Johnson, How Agencies Can Better Regulate for Racial Justice, Reg. Rev. (April 18, 2022), https://www.theregreview.org/2022/04/18/johnson-agencies-racial-justice/
Available at: https://scholarship.law.columbia.edu/faculty_scholarship/3914/