Yesterday, the House Education Subcommittee delayed action for one week on HB 448, the companion bill to SB 8 that prevents public higher education institutions from granting preference to any student, employee, or contractor based on race, diversity, or gender.
The University of Tennessee System does not make employment, admissions, or contracting decisions solely based on race, gender, or ethnicity.
While on its face the legislation seems to mirror existing federal law, it has notable differences that will surely lead to costly litigation for the University, the State, and Tennessee taxpayers.
Nearly identical legislation has been deemed unconstitutional in recent months by the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Tennessee falls within this jurisdiction. Thus, the ruling of the Sixth Circuit applies to Tennessee until such a time that the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the matter.
SB8 will again be heard in the Senate Education Committee meeting this afternoon. The meeting begins at 3:00 PM CST and due to a number of budget hearings and lengthy calendar is expected to run late into the evening.
Please continue to contact members of the Senate Education Committee. Ask them to oppose this legislation.
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