The Florida Supreme Court has issued an absolutely incredible -- but predictable --
opinion regarding the Florida Civil Rights Initiative.
Florida Justices condemned
for denying 2000 vote on preference ban (07/13/00)
200,000 Citizen's Signatures
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 Courts 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 Courts
rigid rules, the Courts 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 didnt show any restraint and struck a blow
against our tradition of self-government.
This action, like the
Courts 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
The practical effect of
todays 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
were in this for the long haul. He has indicated that FCRIs legal
advisors will redraft the language of the initiative to address the Courts
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
Post Office Box 10875
Tallahassee, Florida 32302
|Herb Harmon, FCRI
Kevin Nguyen, ACRI
Ending Discrimination Against Whites
and Males is No Good (July 13, 2000)
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
"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)
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.
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)
End of Florida Supreme Court Decision NEWS,