No quotas in teh law in this country, but they difinitely exist in reality, I think the whole "critical mass" is quotas in disguise as Rehnquist pointed out in his dissent. However, quotas oerate different in a country where quota for african americans is 8% of total maybe 5% for hispanics, that means 87% can still be white, so quotas only affect the marginally qualfied. In SA if they used quotas of say 85% (totally made up that number), that would affect all but the most qualfied white job seekers. That said I exagerated that number horrible to make a pt., quotas work better where you are dealing with a minority, than a majority.
We don't let people get fired to hire people-or do we? Actually the law is unsettled-the caselaw seems to indicate no, but teacher's union and other unions that use seniority systems present special problems. If the normal system is based on seniority, then whee there has to be a downsizing, should minorities be exempt from the seniority system? Wygant for example said no, but O'Conner was the swing vote in a 5-4 decision in that case . With Roberts and Alito that decision is probably solid, but replacing renhiquist and o'conner with roberts and alito just keeps the vote at 5-4, so the next change in court could upset that.