The City of Memphis adopted a Minority & Women Business Enterprise Procurement Program (the program) in 1996 as a solution for past discrimination and to prevent future discrimination. In enacting the program, the city relied on a disparity study covering the period from 1988 to 1992. A builders and contractors association and a construction company (plaintiffs) brought suit against the city, alleging that the city’s preferences to minorities under the program violated the Fourteenth Amendment. In response, the city proposed commissioning a new disparity study to cover the period from 1993 to 1998. The city desired to use this post-enactment study as evidence to demonstrate a compelling government interest. The district court denied the city’s request. The district court certified for appeal under 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b) the question of whether the post-enactment study should be allowed as evidence of a compelling government interest.