July 2000: The Florida Supreme Court rules that racial and gender discrimination is OK in this state.  Florida high court rules against the Florida Civil Rights Initiative.


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Florida Supreme Court vs. FCRI:
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Florida Supreme Court is NOT Color Blind!

          The Florida Supreme Court has issued an absolutely incredible -- but predictable -- opinion regarding the Florida Civil Rights Initiative. 

News and Reaction
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The Justices
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Download the Court's opinion
(Acrobat format)
FLORIDA PRESIDENTIAL BALLOT
Cartoons and Links 11/15/00

Florida Justices condemned for denying 2000 vote on preference ban (07/13/00)

200,000 Citizen's Signatures Rendered Useless

Official Statement from the Florida Civil Rights Initiative:

          (TALLAHASSEE) – The Florida Supreme Court today confirmed what Ward Connerly announced two months ago, that the Florida Civil Rights Initiative will not be on the Fall 2000 ballot. The Court’s foot-dragging from December to July had forced FCRI off the 2000 ballot no matter how it ruled. But by declaring today that all four versions of the initiative, banning race and gender preferences, were unacceptable under the Court’s rigid rules, the Court’s judicial activism was harshly condemned by Connerly as a defeat for self-government.

          “I am outraged, as should be the people of Florida, by the deprivation of their right to decide on the limits of affirmative action,” said Connerly. “This ballot review process has been a disgraceful display by an overreaching court that aggressively quashed a clear and simple proposition to end preferences. The Court didn’t show any restraint and struck a blow against our tradition of self-government.”

          “This action, like the Court’s denial of death penalty and tax reform, begs for the judicial excess to be reined in. I am astounded that this Court would deny us ballot access when other courts in more liberal jurisdictions have found this proposal constitutional and acceptable as a reasonable proposal with a oneness of purpose.”

          “The question that still hangs over the Court is the question that Justice Anstead posed to the Attorney General on March 6th: what is wrong, now or 60 years ago, with citizens coming forward to offer a proposal that government stop treating people differently on the basis of race or gender? This is, after all, language patterned after the 1964 Civil Rights Act. I assure the Court that it cannot evade this question, nor the popular and legal tide against government-sponsored preferential treatment.”

          The practical effect of today’s decision is that a total of 200,000 signatures on four petitions were thrown out by the Court. Connerly says “there is plenty of time between now and 2002 – we’re in this for the long haul.” He has indicated that FCRI’s legal advisors will redraft the language of the initiative to address the Court’s objections and circulate petitions for the 2002 ballot. Had the Court ruled instead that one or more of the FCRI petitions were acceptable, the signatures would have remained valid for four years and been applied to the 2002 effort.
[Link to the Florida Civil Rights Initiative no longer available as of 10/27/02]

For further information, contact FCRI:
Florida Civil Rights Initiative
Post Office Box 10875
Tallahassee, Florida 32302
Herb Harmon, FCRI
(850) 386-3895

Kevin Nguyen, ACRI
(916) 444-2278


Ending Discrimination Against Whites and Males is No Good (July 13, 2000)

Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - "Proposals by California businessman Ward Connerly to end affirmative action in Florida are too misleading to go before voters, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

          "Connerly expressed outrage over what he called "a disgraceful display by an overreaching court that aggressively quashed a clear and simple proposition to end preferences."

          "Connerly, the architect of anti-affirmative action measures approved by voters in California and Washington state, promised to draft new measures that address the problems cited by Florida's high court and collect the 500,000 signatures needed to be placed on the 2002 ballot.

          "The 2002 ballot has been the goal since May when Connerly said he would not mount a petition drive to get the signatures needed by mid-August to make this November's ballot.

          "Thursday's ruling against Connerly's petitions came one day after an administrative hearing judge dismissed a challenge of the One Florida plan by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

          Commenting on the high court's adverse ruling against FCRI, the Associated Press reports "The justices do not judge measures on their merit."  

          One rationale against the initiative cited by the state's supreme court is that the initiative, if passed, would wreak such a massive change in the way Florida conducts its business as to be disruptive and unmanageable.  "It is precisely this sort of 'cataclysmic change' that the drafters of the single-subject rule labored to prevent," the court's opinion read.

          Of course, if Florida had never gotten into the business of granting discriminatory racial and gender preferences it wouldn't find itself in this position, would it?  The Court did not address that thorny issue.

          Even though the language of the initiative is crystal clear, Florida Supreme Court Justice Leander Shaw wrote "My quarrel with the amendments is simple and straightforward: I believe that the ballot titles and summaries are fundamentally misleading."

          Thus, equal treatment under the law without regard to race, gender, or national origin is misleading, according to this court.

(Based on the Associated Press story by Jackie Hallifax, via Tampa Bay Online 07/13/00)
[link http://ap.tbo.com/ap/florida/MGID7V70NAC.html ]


Download the Florida Supreme Court's Incredible Opinion!

          The Florida Supreme Court's incredible opinion regarding the Florida Civil Rights Initiative is available for download in Adobe Acrobat Reader format (.PDF format).  Click on the link to download this document to your hard drive.
[link http://www.adversity.net/florida/Florida_Supremes_Opinion.pdf]


Who IS the Florida Supreme Court?  (07/19/00)

          This Court is a liberal, activist court that ruled on the political implications of the Florida Civil Rights Initiative, and not on the merits of the FCRI.  Most of the Justices were appointed by late Democratic Gov. Lawton Chiles.  Most of the Justices have liberal, pro-minority in organizations such as the NAACP or the Urban League.

          Read the biographies and affiliations of this activist court at the link below.   (Adversity.Net, 07/19/00)
[link http://www.adversity.net/florida/FL_Supreme_Justices.htm]


End of Florida Supreme Court Decision NEWS, REACTION

 

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*  We use the term reverse discrimination reluctantly and only because it is so widely understood.  In our opinion there really is only one kind of discrimination.