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affirmative action in florida

Recently Governor Jeb Bush has pushed for the passage of a plan he calls ONE FLORIDA, an executive order to abolish affirmative action in the state of Florida. Through the

history of affirmative action in our country and its ensuing abolition, politicians and society at

large are ever debating the merits of a racially based admissions, hiring, and contracting

program. With anti-affirmative programs already in effect in both California and Texas, Florida

is following suit with a college admissions program designed to diversify college student bodies

without becoming racially discriminatory. Also incorporated into ONE FLORIDA are new

standards in both hiring and contracting. To better understand these changes we must look at

the history of affirmative action and later, whether or not it is constitutional.

The term affirmative action predates the civil rights movement. According to John

Skrentny, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, the basic idea

comes from "the centuries-old English legal concept of equity or the administration of justice

according to what was fair in a particular situation, as opposed to rigidly following legal rules,

which may have a harsh result" (Skrentny 6). The phrase affirmative action was first used in

the 1935 National Labor Relations Act, and it referred to employers discriminating against

union members. In 1961, with the enactment of President John F. Kennedy's Executive Order

10925, advising employers to take affirmative action to ensure nondiscrimination, the term

became synonymous with the civil rights movement (Bloch 70). President Lyndon B. Johnson's

Executive Order 11246 expanded on the civil rights issue by ordering contracting firms with the

federal government to "take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that

employees are treated during employment without regards ...

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