SCOTUS Strikes Down Affirmative Action, FL Legislators React

SCOTUS Strikes Down Affirmative Action, FL Legislators React

Jackson Bakich
Jackson Bakich
|
June 30, 2023

As news broke regarding the recent Supreme Court decision that struck down affirmative action in the college admission process nationwide, big names in Florida politics voiced their opinions concerning the landmark case.

All six conservative judges voted against the use of race as a factor when selecting college applicants, citing the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion: "A benefit to a student whose heritage or culture motivated him or her to assume a leadership role or attain a particular goal must be tied to that student’s unique ability to contribute to the university. In other words, the student must be treated based on his or her experiences as an individual—not on the basis of race.”

Representative Byron Donalds (R-FL) mentioned that the Supreme Court’s decision was a massive win against “the left’s equity agenda.”

“Today’s ruling is a massive win against the left’s equity agenda that seeks to achieve “equality” through equal outcomes, not equal access. There was clearly a time when affirmative action was needed to end racial discrimination, but that time is over. The High Court rightly ended this policy. Merit and achievement must be the #1 attribute we all desire,” stated Rep. Donalds.

Justice Clarence Thomas wrote an opinion in concurrence, declaring that affirmative action “flies in the face of our colorblind Constitution.”

The conclusion by the High Court “sees the universities’ admissions policies for what they are: rudderless, race-based preferences designed to ensure a particular racial mix in their entering classes. Those policies fly in the face of our colorblind Constitution and our Nation’s equality ideal. In short, they are plainly—and boldly—unconstitutional,” stated Justice Thomas.

However, Democrats such as Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) called the Supreme Court a “radical majority” that chose “extremism.”

“America is strongest when it pursues diverse voices and racial justice. Today's affirmative action decision shows how this radical SCOTUS majority chooses extremism over progress and precedent. House Democrats will continue our fight for racial equality,” said Rep. Wasserman Schultz.

Additionally, Representative Lois Frankel (D-FL) attributed the end of affirmative action to “going back to the dark ages.”

“Today’s SCOTUS ruling is a huge blow to a decades-old program that has helped close the achievement gap for women & people of color in America. By striking down Affirmative Action, we're going back to the dark ages, leaving marginalized communities behind.”

Just days ago, the Supreme Court voted against the Independent State Legislator Theory, which would’ve granted state lawmakers the final say on congressional mapping.

With the new ruling, state judges now have more of a clear understanding of their power concerning districting, but not complete and total authority.

Chief Justice Roberts stated that state courts “may not transgress the ordinary bounds of judicial review such that they arrogate to themselves the power vested in state legislatures to regulate federal elections.”

In short, state legislatures will not have the ability to map districts in abnormal shapes in order to maximize party representation, otherwise known as gerrymandering.

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Jackson Bakich

Jackson Bakich

Born in Orlando but raised in Lake County, Florida, Jackson Bakich is currently a senior at Florida State University. Growing up in the sunshine state, Bakich co-hosted the political talk radio show "Lake County Roundtable" (WLBE) and was a frequent guest for "Lake County Sports Show" (WQBQ). Currently, he is the Sports Editor of the FSView and the co-host of "Tomahawk Talk" (WVFS), a sports talk radio program covering Florida State athletics in Tallahassee.

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