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Supreme Court of Florida
April 15, 2021, Decided
[*637] PER CURIAM.
On its own motion, the Court amends rule 6-10.3(d) of the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar. We have jurisdiction. See art. V, § 15, Fla. R. Gen. Prac. & Jud. Admin. 2.140(d).
The Business Law Section of The Florida Bar recently adopted a policy regulating the composition of faculty at section-sponsored continuing legal education programs. Subject to certain exceptions, the policy imposes quotas requiring a minimum number of "diverse" faculty, depending on the number of faculty teaching the course. The policy defines diversity in terms of membership in "groups based upon race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, and multiculturalism." The stated goals of the policy are "eliminating bias, increasing diversity and implementing tactics aimed at recruiting and retaining diverse attorneys."
The Court recognizes and is grateful for the Bar sections' important contributions to the legal profession in our state. And the Court understands the objectives underlying the policy at issue here. Nonetheless, certain means are out of bounds. Quotas based [**2] on characteristics like the ones in this policy are antithetical to basic American principles of nondiscrimination. Cf. Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306, 334, 123 S. Ct. 2325, 156 L. Ed. 2d 304 (2003) ("To be narrowly tailored, a race-conscious admissions program cannot use a quota system . . . ."); Regents of University of Cal. v. Bakke, 438 U.S. 265, 307, 98 S. Ct. 2733, 57 L. Ed. 2d 750 (1978) (numerical goal or quota "must be rejected" as "facially invalid"). It is essential that The Florida Bar withhold its approval from continuing legal education programs that are tainted by such discrimination.
Accordingly, rule 6-10.3(d) of the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar, which governs course approval for continuing legal education, is amended as reflected in the appendix to this opinion. New language is indicated by underscoring. The amendment shall become effective immediately and shall apply prospectively to any course that has not already been approved as of the effective date. The Court expects that The Florida Bar will amend its policies as necessary to ensure compliance. Because the amendments were not published for [*638] comment previously, interested persons shall have seventy-five days from the date of this opinion in which to file comments with the Court.1
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315 So. 3d 637 *; 2021 Fla. LEXIS 602 **; 46 Fla. L. Weekly S 73; 2021 WL 1418863
IN RE: AMENDMENT TO RULE REGULATING THE FLORIDA BAR 6-10.3.
Subsequent History: Later proceeding at In re Amendment to Rule Regulating the Fla. Bar 6-10.3, 2021 Fla. LEXIS 2001 (Fla., Dec. 16, 2021)
Prior History: Amendments to the Rules of the Supreme Court Relating to Admissions to the Bar, 695 So. 2d 312, 1997 Fla. LEXIS 730 (Fla., June 5, 1997)
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