Faculty Scholarship & Activities: Oct. 8, 2012
Dean Emeritus; Director, Center for Governmental Responsibility
Mills responded to a statement released last week by the Florida GOP saying it does not support the three Florida Supreme Court justices in the upcoming Florida retention elections. He said it was fundamental for members of an independent judiciary system to be evaluated based on their overall performance and not on particular cases.
“I’ve argued cases in front of the Florida Supreme Court numerous times in the last four to six years,” he said. “And I haven’t always agreed with their conclusions, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think they are competent, good justices, so I think it’s most important to look at the entire record and their competency rather than any particular case.”
Mills said the concept of a supreme court was independence from any kind of specific interest so that it could focus on long-term issues. He did not think any Florida GOP campaigns would change that.
“I think if people look at the purpose of an independent judiciary and look at the records of these judges, they’ll vote to retain them,” Mills said.
Hutchinson weighed in on the Supreme Court’s decision to put affirmative action back on the docket in the case Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin in an interview with Celeste Headlee.
“In many ways, this case is very similar. What’s changed, though, is the composition of the Court. Justice O’Connor wrote the majority opinion in that case. She’s now off the Court. Justice Kagan is not going to be able to participate in this case because she helped out when she was at the solicitor general’s office. This will be a very interesting test to see if affirmative action survives. A lot of people will be watching Justice Kennedy who’s the swing vote but in many ways the issues are about the same as the ones that came up in the last case.”
He later explained why businesses are often supportive of affirmative action in the 11-minute interview.
“It could be a tie and in that case the lower court decision would be affirmed and that one upheld the policy,” Hutchinson said.
Winston P. Nagan
Sam T. Dell Research Scholar Professor of Law; affiliate Professor of Anthropology, African and Latin American Studies; Director, Institute for Human Rights, Peace and Development
Winston Nagan recently co-authored an article on global values that will be distributed to the participants of the Club of Rome assembly in Bucharest, Romania, later this month.