INTRODUCTION: Open and competitive examination is generally perceived as the surest method of ensuring that public employees are selected on the basis of their merit and ability. Since the Pendleton Act of 1883, legislation has continually attempted to implement the view that efficient and impartial public sector employment requires that qualifications be demonstrated in an objective examination. But blacks, women and other minorities have been systematically excluded from public employment. This exclusion has resulted not only from bias in the examination, but also from other less visible aspects of the appointment process which supplant strict merit selection.
Vaughn, Robert, "Preferences in Public Employment" (1976). Articles in Law Reviews & Other Academic Journals. 1316.