In 1976, Randy and Valery Pech, Randy’s mom Ruth, his sister Linda Cosden, and his friend Steve Goeglein, created Adarand Constructors, Inc., a small, family-owned corporation, which is operated by Randy out of Colorado Springs, Colorado. Adarand specializes in the construction of highway guardrails, primarily as a result of the receipt of subcontracts from prime
contractors, and builds guardrails on contracts let by federal, state, and local governments as well as private parties.
In 1989, Adarand submitted a bid to do the guardrail work, as a subcontractor, on a federal government contract to build 4.7 miles of highway in the San Juan National Forest in Dolores and Montezuma Counties in southwestern Colorado—the West Dolores River Project. The contract was issued by the Central Federal Lands Highway Division (CFLHD), a subdivision of the Federal Highway Administration (FHA), which, in turn, is part of the
U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). Although Adarand submitted the lowest bid and has an excellent reputation for doing quality work on a timely basis, its bid was rejected. Instead, as a result of a federal highway
construction-contracting program that presumes all members of certain racial groups to be “socially and economically disadvantaged,” the subcontract was awarded to the disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) that submitted the lowest bid.
On August 10, 1990, exactly a year to the day after the federal government let the contract for the West Dolores River Project, MSLF filed Adarand’s lawsuit. Nearly twelve years later, after three appearances before the U.S. Supreme Court, the case ended when the federal government paid Adarand $310,000 in attorneys’ fees for being the “prevailing party.” Among the issues on which Adarand prevailed was the Supreme Court’s 1995 holding that Congress is bound by the equal protection guarantee, a ruling that experts believe dooms racial preferences and quotas.