Following is a statement issued by former Senator Alex Villalobos on behalf of Democracy at Stake: “Fair and impartial administration of justice is a difficult and delicate balancing act. And it is one that the seven members of the Florida Supreme Court perform admirably day in and day out. “The politically charged debate over redistricting has focused public attention on a deliberative process that is business as usual for our state’s high court. The … Continue reading
News Release AJS Releases Results of Largest-Ever Survey of Judicial Nominating Commissioners Des Moines, IA, — March 6, 2012 —As states work to ensure highly qualified, knowledgeable, accessible, adaptable, and accountable judiciaries, the methods used to select judges frequently engender fervent debate, especially during election cycles. In recent years, many states that elect judges have witnessed increasing campaign spending and bitter rhetoric, leading some to consider the adoption of merit selection, a … Continue reading
Our justice system has been cut to the bone 08/06/2011 © Miami Herald There’s a new contender for the most-used verb in America: cut. Cutting the federal deficit was the basis of the raging congressional debate that just ended. It was the centerpiece of many actions taken by the Florida Legislature during its recent session. It’s also a word on the lips of many corporate executives, and many of us as we tighten our own … Continue reading
Sometime-Foes Boies and Olson Honored with ABA Medal for Successful Joint Efforts By Rachel M. Zahorsky David Boies and Theodore B. Olson, co-chairs of the ABA Task Force on Preservation of the Justice System, were honored with the ABA’s highest award, the ABA Medal, by the House of Delegates today. “David and I know we wouldn’t have received this award if not for the things we’ve been doing together,” Olson said in a brief acceptance … Continue reading
O’Connor: Lawyers & Judges Need to Wake Up to Judicial Funding Threat, Prep for Political Battle ABA Journal By James Podgers Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor expressed concern Sunday that not even lawyers and members of the judiciary fully recognize the threat to state courts posed by funding cutbacks being imposed by state legislatures. “No one, not even lawyers and judges, understands what a financial bind the courts are in,” said O’Connor … Continue reading
When discussing judges, the media and others routinely make a point of identifying the political party of the individual who appointed them, with the obvious intent being to convey the belief that a judge is politically and philosophically aligned with the person who appointed him or her. Of course, the underlying message is that, because the judge is politically and philosophically aligned with the person who appointed him or her, the outcome is likely to … Continue reading
This video from Gavel to Gavel tracks the judiciary battles being fought across the United States.
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NEWS For Immediate Release: May 4, 2011 In a short-lived victory for Floridians, clearer heads prevailed in the Senate when they rejected the House’s plan to split the Supreme Court into civil and criminal divisions, add more justices and give the Governor the power to appoint the chief justice. But tucked in the budget agreement between the House and the Senate is $400,000 to fund a study of whether a split court would be more … Continue reading
Former Supreme Court justice lobbying Senators to reject court overhaul The St.Petersburg Times | April 27, 2011 Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Raoul Cantero is in Tallahassee today to persuade Republican Senators to reject a House proposal to expand and split the Supreme Court into criminal and civil divisions, and cut the Florida Bar out of the judicial nominating process. The overhaul of the court is a top priority for House Speaker Dean Cannon, and it has become a bargaining … Continue reading
[LETTER] Leave Fla. Supreme Court Alone The Ledger | 4/21/2011 Not content to balance the state budget on the backs of state workers and humiliate the poor by requiring drug tests as a prerequisite for public assistance, Gov. Rick Scott and the Legislature now turn their attention to castrating the Florida Supreme Court.
From: Betsey Herd Sent: Tuesday, April 19, 2011 12:58 PM To: email@example.com Subject: I support the opposition to splitting Florida’s courts Our court system needs to serve separately and must not be subject to the executive arm of government!!! Betsey Herd, Tampa, FL
“Legislative proposals to split the Supreme Court in two and change the way judges are appointed and retained are dangerous attempts to politicize the judiciary and the boldest attempt at court packing since the days of F.D.R. They would weaken our constitutional system of checks and balances and undermine the independence of our judiciary. An impartial and independent judiciary is a cornerstone of the rule of law and an essential component of our democracy. The late … Continue reading
The Greek Historian Thucydides wrote that “few things are brought to successful issue by impetuous desire, but most by calm and prudent forethought.” Current proposals supported by Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon (R-Winter Park) that would radically alter the makeup of Florida Courts fail to wisely consider the sacrosanct need for an independent judiciary. The judicial branch of government continues to serve as a check against excesses that regularly occur among the partisan executive and … Continue reading
“As a board-certified business litigation attorney, member of the National Advisory Council of the American Judicature Society, and member of the Florida Bar for over thirty (30) years, it is clear to me that a fair, impartial, independent judicial branch of government is the foundation upon which our form of government and way of life is based. The current efforts to “reform” the judicial branch of government undermine and weaken that foundation, and threaten to … Continue reading