Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Senate President Outlines Path To Rename Florida State Law School To Distance Itself From Segregationist Past

Florida State logoFlorida Politics, Bill Galvano Outlines Path to Rename FSU Law School:

The new leader of the Florida Senate wants to afford more freedom to state universities wishing to rename buildings previously designated by the state Legislature.

Senate President Bill Galvano, after assuming the chamber’s top spot last week, told reporters that he supports “a framework for universities to do their naming and having flexibility, instead of having the Legislature micromanage that issue.”

That means legislation likely won’t specifically address Florida State University’s law school building. It currently is named after the late Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice B.K. Roberts.

Instead, expect any forthcoming bills to target naming decisions as a whole.

FSU President John Thrasher announced in July that the university would seek to rename the law school building after a special panel recommended the change.

Roberts wrote the state Supreme Court’s 1957 majority opinion to deny law school admission to an African-American student, Virgil Hawkins.

The opinion is considered a pro-segregation action that defines a “more troublesome legacy” than his “instrumental role” in spawning the university’s law school, Thrasher wrote.

“To keep the name of B.K. Roberts on the law school building would continue to honor someone whose decisions and actions do not reflect Florida State University’s values or the rule of law,” continued Thrasher, a former House Speaker and state Senator.

In 1973, the Legislature designated the law school building’s name.

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The Wojack School of Law has a nice ring to it.

Posted by: Jablonski | Dec 13, 2018 4:51:34 AM

This is getting a little bit silly. Florida just had two elections in which something like 80 percent of people voted their tribal loyalties. Do they really think anyone is fooled by shenanigans like this one?

Posted by: Mike Livingston | Dec 12, 2018 4:17:03 AM