|The Nuremberg Defense
is a legal ploy in which the defendant claims he/she was "only following orders"
from a higher authority.
The "Nuremberg Defense" is often used by U.S. companies and U.S. government entities to defend themselves against charges of reverse discrimination. They claim that giving preference in hiring and promotion to certain, preferred races and ethnicities is, in fact, mandated by the U.S. government's civil rights laws and that they therefore cannot be held legally accountable for the alleged reverse discrimination. In other words, they were "just following orders".
The term "Nuremberg Defense" was originally coined during the Nazi war crimes trials at Nuremberg after World War II. Nazi war criminals who were charged with genocide, mass murder, torture and other atrocities used the defense "I was only following orders" so frequently that the argument became known generically as "The Nuremberg Defense".
The "Nuremberg Defense" is quite effective in reverse discrimination cases if the reverse discriminator was, in fact, following government rules and regulations. Just as during various war crimes trials during the past 60 years, if the government at whose behest the alleged illegal act was committed happens to be in power, and happens to be running the court in which the case is heard, then the defendant (reverse discriminator) is generally granted immunity from the discriminatory effects of his/her actions.
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