WASHINGTON -- In a report to President-elect Reagan's transition team, a conservative research group says the Justice Department should halt its affirmative action policies to remedy past discrimination against women and other minorities.
In a 100-page report, the Heritage Foundation said Wednesday discrimination should not be used as a means of ending discrimination, and recommended that the Justice Department change its policies.
'A new administration should base its civil rights policy on the notion that every person has an inherent right to obtain whatever economic or other rewards he or she has earned, by virtue of merit, and that it is inherently wrong to penalize those who have earned their reward by giving preferential treatment and benefits to those who have not,' the report said.
Herb Berkowitz, spokesman for the think tank, said the unsolicited report has been in the works for over a year, and would be delivered today to Edwin Meese, head of Reagan's transition team.
The report called for major policy changes in the civil rights division of the Justice Department as well as in other divisions in the law enforcement agency.
It recommended an end to policies supporting reverse discrimination in job hiring and promotion, discriminatory awarding of government contracts, and quotas in medical and law school admissions.
'The new assistant attorney general (of the civil rights division) should be particularly sensitive about recent moves to achieve cross-district busing, to desegregate Southern higher education systems, and to use statistical evidence in order to establish a civil rights case,' the report said.
In the last 20 years, the report said the federal government has supported adoption of laws, executive orders and rules regulating who is hired, fired, promoted or awarded government contracts.
'These rules have all centered around eliminating racial and other forms of discrimination,' the report said. 'However, the remedy has gotten so far out of hand that it has become mandatory to discriminate in order to end discrimination.'
The report recommended:
--Repealing an executive order requiring government contractors to take 'affirmative action' to ensure non-discriminatory treatment. In its place, contractors should simply be barred from discriminating.
--The Securities and Exchange Commission could prohibit corporations from using racial or sexual employment statistics in corporate annual reports.
--Repeal of a law requiring government contractors to take affirmative action to employ the handicapped.
--Barring the departments of Justice, Labor and Education from filing discrimination suits 'unless there is clear proof of an intent to discriminate.'
--An executive order requiring that no federal agency terminate funding to any private or non-federal public program unless there is 'clear proof of discriminatory intent.'