The Leadership Conference is working diligently to see that Tom Perez is confirmed as U.S. Secretary of Labor. Perez is an eminently qualified public servant and consensus builder who has dedicated his career to ensuring that all individuals are treated fairly and have the opportunity to succeed. He has served with integrity and distinction at the local, state and national level, compiling an outstanding record of achievement.
Florida Supreme Court: NAACP May Challenge State's Elimination of Affirmative Action
Feature Story by Ritu Kelotra - 11/20/2003In a victory for equal opportunity, the Florida Supreme Court has said the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) may challenge an executive order that eliminates the use of affirmative action in Florida's university admissions.
The court's 4 to 3 decision overruled a 2002 lower court decision that dismissed the NAACP's challenge to Gov. Jeb Bush's "One Florida" initiative and "Talented 20" plan. In that ruling, the lower court decided that the NAACP had not offered enough proof that students would be "substantially affected" by Gov. Bush's plans.
NAACP President and CEO Kweisi Mfume applauded the Florida Supreme Court's decision.
"This is a good day for the law," he said. "The NAACP and all Americans who seek the right to challenge admissions procedures when they appear discriminatory are buoyed by this decision. We appreciate the ruling in this very important case."
The "One Florida" plan, which was issued as an executive order by Gov. Bush in 2000, eliminates race or gender as a consideration in college admissions, employment and contracting. The "Talented 20" plan guarantees college admission to the top 20 percent of each of Florida's public high school graduating classes.
Although Gov. Bush has said that minority enrollment has increased at Florida schools, that increase overall was less than 1 percent from the 2002 school year to the 2003 school year. According to research conducted by the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University, the "Talented 20" plan has led to the admission of very few students who would not have been admitted under pre-existing, non-race-conscious rules. The report also concludes that the "Talented 20" plan is "not race-neutral and not an effective alternative to affirmative action."