Category Archives: Uncategorized
The Florida Supreme Court has agreed to take up the case of state workers who sued the Legislature over its decision to require them to contribute 3 percent of their salaries to their requirement. Earlier this month, a circuit court judge ruled that the state’s 3-percent contribution plan was unconstitutional, potentially causing a $2 billion budget fiasco. Read more here: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2012/03/supreme-court-primed-to-take-on-3-percent-pension-case-starting-in-september.htm
By Alex VillalobosMarch 10, 2012 Fair and impartial administration of justice is a difficult and delicate balancing act — and it is one that I believe all seven members of the Florida Supreme Court perform admirably day in and day out. Floridians are well served when tough questions are met with thorough debate and analysis and decided based on each individual Justices careful consideration of what they believe to be mandated by our state … Continue reading
The Florida Legislature has pretty much always undertaken its once-every-decade redistricting chore with two paramount objectives: To protect incumbents and to keep the ruling party in power. That was true when the Democrats ran the Legislature, and it is true now that the Republicans are in charge. But now there are a whole new set of rules in place, complements of Florida voters who approved two “Fair Districts” amendments to the state Constitution. http://www.gainesville.com/article/20120310/OPINION01/120309596/1109/sports?Title=Editorial-The-new-rules&tc=ar
TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Supreme Court on Friday tossed out the proposed state Senate legislative maps, forcing lawmakers to start over in a special session later this month. http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/workinglife/supreme-court-tosses-proposed-senate-maps/1219161
TALLAHASSEE — A proposal to give Gov. Rick Scott more power over the courts appeared dead Wednesday amid a disagreement on whether Scott should be able to fire people appointed by former Gov. Charlie Crist to a panel that helps select judges. http://www.bradenton.com/2012/03/08/3925629/bill-to-give-fla-gov-rick-scott.html#storylink=cpy
A Wisconsin State Journal editorial, reflecting on the latest ethics imbroglio facing a state Supreme Court justice, voices outrage over the “embarrassing and dysfunctional state Supreme Court” and calls for adoption of merit selection as a remedy.
Florida’s court system is a co-equal branch of state government, but it has operated more like a struggling car maker lately, forced to depend on government loans to keep running. Now Gov. Rick Scott has come up with a new formula for bankrolling the system that should spare judges from having to beg next year. State legislators should embrace the governor’s goal of providing steady funding so that courts can deliver the justice that Floridians … Continue reading
By The Palm Beach Post Paul Hawkes is gone, but Florida taxpayers and the state court system will feel the damage he caused for years. In August 2010, Lucy Morgan of the St. Petersburg Times reported that Mr. Hawkes, a judge on the 1st District Court of Appeal, had conspired with legislators in 2007 to secure a $35 million bond issue for a 1st DCA courthouse in Tallahassee that is much more lavish than the … Continue reading
Foreclosure mediation program’s low rate of success leaves its future in doubt By Kimberly Miller Palm Beach Post Staff Writer Florida’s landmark mandatory foreclosure mediation program is under scrutiny by the state courts administrator because of its limited success. Statewide, just 3.6 percent of all cases referred to mediation in a yearlong period beginning in March 2010 ended in a written agreement between the lender and homeowner. In Palm Beach County, which didn’t begin its … Continue reading
09/13/2011 Jacksonville Daily Record by Joe Wilhelm Jr., Staff Writer Former U.S. Supreme Court Judge Sandra Day O’Connor said Monday that Floridians should vote to eliminate popular elections for the judiciary the next time the issue appears on the ballot. “Close to 20 states in the United States elect their judges in state elections. No other nation in the world elects its judges,” said O’Connor. The issue was discussed during “A Conversation about Judicial Reform,” … Continue reading
Focus on civility among attorneys sends a message Tallahassee Democrat Editorial The world around us changes so rapidly that too often our actions go unchecked, tempers are lost, fits are thrown and epithets are hurled, all causing more harm than good — not to mention being utterly unpersuasive. Technology influences how we communicate — in haste. The drive to win overcomes our appreciation for the talents or experience of others. Being pushed to the brink … Continue reading
This event is free and open to the public. Please join us for a discussion of judicial reform with a panel consisting of Justice O’Connor and: Former ABA President Martha Barnett, moderator Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Rosemary Barkett Florida Supreme Court Justice Peggy Quince Monday, Sept. 12, 10:30 a.m. (doors open at 9:30 a.m.) Phillips Center for the Performing Arts 315 Hull Road, UF Campus, Gainesville This event is the inaugural lecture of … Continue reading
NY Times Editorial http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/18/opinion/threadbare-american-justice.html# It is an American article of faith that the path to justice runs through the courts. State courts, which handle a vast majority of civil and criminal cases, are in a state of crisis. Across the country, deep budget cuts and increased caseloads have created long delays and a denial of basic access to justice.
By TOLUSE OLORUNNIPA tolorunnipa@MiamiHerald.com The backlog of foreclosure cases in Florida courts was cut considerably during a one-year state initiative that brought on retired judges to hear homeowner cases, the Office of State Court Administrators announced Thursday. More than 200,000 cases were disposed between July 1, 2010 and June 30 of this year, slashing the inventory by nearly 45 percent. There are 260,815 foreclosure cases currently pending in Florida courtrooms, with about 72,000 of … Continue reading
Environmentalists Praise Court Ruling Capitol News Service August 17th, 2011 by Whitney Ray Environmentalists are celebrating yesterday’s ruling by the Florida Supreme Court that says Governor Rick Scott can’t suspend rulemaking. Now more rules guiding Everglades restoration can be produced. Eric Draper, Executive Director of Audubon of Florida says since Scott’s freeze, protecting the Everglades has been a challenge.
Case stemmed from a lawsuit filed by a blind Opa-locka woman who charged governor’s action was causing delays. Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/08/16/2361564/florida-courts-gov-scott-overstepped.html#ixzz1VOG8XEzm By Janet Zink Herald/TimesTallahassee Bureau TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that Gov. Rick Scott “overstepped his constitutional authority and violated the separation of powers” with an executive order freezing all pending rules until he could approve them. In a 5-2 opinion, the court concluded that rule-making authority belongs to … Continue reading
Florida Governor Encroached on State Legislature, Court Rules Wall Street Journal (blog) By Nathan Koppel Getty Images When Florida’s Republican Governor Rick Scott took office in January he launched an effort to get rid of administrative regulations he believed were unduly burdening state businesses and hindering economic growth. Scott passed an executive order suspending the right of state executive agencies to adopt regulations unless the regs were first approved by a newly created Office of … Continue reading
Florida Supreme Court: Rick Scott overstepped his authority | TBO.com By CATHERINE WHITTENBURG | The Tampa Tribune TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Supreme Court dealt a blow to Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday, finding that he overstepped his constitutional authority when he suspended rulemaking by state agencies. Ruling against Scott in favor of a low-income blind woman from South Florida, the justices said in a 5-2 opinion that Scott had violated the separation of powers between … Continue reading
Florida Governor Scott’s Orders Exceeded Authority, State High Court Rules Bloomberg Florida Governor Rick Scott overstepped his authority by suspending state-agency rulemaking and requiring agencies to seek permission to issue new regulations from an accountability office he created, the state’s highest court decided. The Florida Supreme Court said today that the Republican governor violated the separation of powers and overstepped his constitutional authority. The ruling came in a lawsuit brought by a Florida food stamp … 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
Don’t blame Florida Supreme Court for the backlog of inmates on state’s death row Orlando Sentinel | July 27, 2011 When the Florida Supreme Court delayed a condemned cop killer’s execution this week, it seemed to bolster an argument heard in the state Capitol this year that the justices are to blame for a pileup of prisoners on death row. But the evidence doesn’t support that argument. And state House Speaker Dean Cannon’s plan to … Continue reading
Justice Watch: Legislature to blame for death penalty conundrum 07/11/2011 © Miami Daily Business Review There are 399 people on Florida’s death row, more than a quarter of them put there in the last decade. Many of the later arrivals could be asking for new sentences because of the persistence of Paul H. Evans, who was sentenced to death in a 1991 murder-for-hire. It took 16 failed habeas petitions in state courts before a Miami … Continue reading
This video from Gavel to Gavel tracks the judiciary battles being fought across the United States.
Trial by Live Feed RE John Cloud’s story in the Casey Anthony trial [June 27] : I am watching the trial because I am so impressed with Judge Belvin Perry Jr. He is fair, impartial, intelligent and nurturing toward the jurors, and he knows his law. A huge plus is that he never plays to the ever present TV cameras. Justice for the viewers, finally! Barbara Kreher, Melbourne, FL
Death Warrant Signed, Commission Killed July 1st, 2011 | Capitol News Service By Whitney Ray The death penalty is dead in Illinois beginning today, but in Florida it’s still very much alive. Governor Rick Scott signed his first death warrant. Now a man accused of killing a Coral Gables police officer more than 30 years ago is set to die. As Whitney Ray tells us, Manuel Valle will be the first Florida prisoner killed with a … Continue reading
Editorial: State must fix funding for courts Jun. 29, 2011 | News Press The fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants funding for court systems across Florida is intolerable. A stable, adequate source of revenue for the system must be found, even if it means a special session of the Legislature. The courts provide one of the most basic, essential government services, mandated by the Florida Constitution. The orderly, timely adjudication of criminal and civil cases is necessary for society to function … Continue reading
Courts face funding crisis News Press | June 28, 2011 Judge: System could be broke by fall This week marks the start of what will be a tenuous budget year in court systems across the state, with revenue sources shriveling and a heavy reliance on loans just to keep dockets moving. The courts are entering the new fiscal year July 1 with no money and the pledge of an additional $54 million loan from the … Continue reading
Watch a video of the HJR 7111 Floor Debate right here.
Four past, current justices given independence awards By Stacey Singer, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer Tuesday, June 14, 2011 PALM BEACH – At their annual state association dinner on Saturday, criminal defense lawyers spent their evening defending not a person, but an idea: the concept of separation of powers in Florida government. West Palm Beach attorney Richard Lubin presented judicial independence awards to two current and two former Florida Supreme Court justices with West Palm Beach ties. He … Continue reading
“The history of Texas courts is indeed a sclerotic one. But all’s well that ends well, and even a helter-skelter judicial structure might be worth the strife if it still managed, despite itself, to produce efficiency. Ours hasn’t.” Click here to read opinion from Texas Supreme Court Justice blasting the split court system some Florida lawmakers want to emulate.
This State law battles could be costly By Catherine Whittenburg | The Tampa Tribune Published: June 04, 2011 TALLAHASSEE — For the second time this week, the American Civil Liberties Union announced it is hauling Gov. Rick Scott into court — this time, over a controversial makeover of Florida’s election laws — as another group prepares to sue him over a new law restricting what doctors can ask their patients. More court challenges are expected … Continue reading
Cut the governor’s power By The Palm Beach Post, Posted: 7:45 p.m. Friday, May 27, 2011 Without Jeb Bush and the Legislature, the judge who stands accused of damaging the entire Florida court system never could have become a judge. Paul Hawkes had an undistinguished career during 14 years as a lawyer. But the ex-legislator became part of the Bush administration in 2000. For the next two years, he was chief of policy for the House. In early 2003, Mr. … Continue reading
Florida death-penalty process is overdue for review May 27, 2011|By Raoul G. Cantero & Mark R. Schlakman | Special to the Sentinel A commission established by the Florida Legislature almost 15 years ago to monitor the administration of justice in death penalty post-conviction proceedings has itself been sentenced to death. The unintended consequences may be significant. The Commission on Capital Cases, a relatively obscure entity, was abolished earlier this month purportedly to “save” $400,000 in … Continue reading
Our Opinion: Governor needs to veto court study Tallahassee Democrat, Published: May 24, 2011 Gov. Rick Scott has made efforts to avoid what he considers politics-as-usual and simply march to his own drummer to the tune of corporate America. Against his inclinations, however, the governor finds himself drawn into political back-scratching predicaments where, to get what he wants, he has to do what powerful legislators want. Case in point is a ridiculously large — because … Continue reading
OPPAGA gets ready to bid out Supreme Court workload study By Gary Blankenship, Senior Editor The Florida Bar News A legislative agency charged with contracting a study of Florida’s Supreme Court will soon be seeking proposals from companies and agencies for that job. Lawmakers appropriated up to $400,000 to study splitting the Supreme Court into criminal and civil divisions and whether the court is efficiently and qualitatively handling its workload. That appropriation came in the … Continue reading
Law tilts ballot battles By Catherine Whittenburg | The Tampa Tribune Published: May 24, 2011 TALLAHASSEE –A new law has made it easier for the Legislature — but harder for citizens — to change Florida’s Constitution.When state lawmakers tried last year to propose constitutional amendments to voters concerning property taxes, the new federal health care law and the redistricting of political boundaries, they ran headlong into challenges at the state Supreme Court, which removed all … Continue reading
My Word: Policy wins over politics By David Simmons Orlando Sentinel 12:00 AM EDT, May 22, 2011 When I was elected to the Florida Senate in 2010, I did not expect that the greatest challenge of the 2011 session would be stopping an attempt by the speaker of the Florida House to split the Florida Supreme Court into two parts, civil and criminal divisions. It would have increased the size of the court from seven … Continue reading
Legislature leaves its “watchdog agency” toothless Editorial: South Florida Sun Sentinel May 22, 2011 THE ISSUE: Lawmakers put the squeeze on its auditing agency. Hypocrisy might be a bit strong, but one has to wonder why the Florida Legislature, which seemed so insistent on new measurements for teachers, government employees and state agencies, turned around and severely weakened the one agency that measures the work of lawmakers. Republican legislative leaders now call the shots at the … Continue reading
‘Taj Mahal’ courthouse judge must go St.Petersburg Times Editorial, Thursday, May 19, 2011 The arrogance, bullying and duplicity of 1st District Court of Appeal Judge Paul M. Hawkes has been well documented. Now new charges from Florida’s Judicial Qualifications Commission have uncovered even more evidence that Hawkes, a former political operative who orchestrated the building of the “Taj Mahal” courthouse in Tallahassee, is not fit to sit on the bench. From ordering the destruction of … Continue reading
Rating Florida’s Senate: Leaders and letdowns The Orlando Sentinel May 15, 2011 The extremist political agenda in Tallahassee this session sometimes proved too hot even for Central Florida’s Republican senators to handle. Yet too often they, along with the region’s Democratic senator, were willing accomplices.Which forces us, in a year that saw lawmakers blitz programs for education, elections and the environment, to judge their performance on a curve. Otherwise, none would make the grade.
State Sen. Jack Latvala leveraged his vote to slow down conservative march By Michael C. Bender, Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau May 11, 2011 Jack Latvala builds ever-shifting coalitions to temper some fellow Republicans’ efforts in the Legislature. TALLAHASSEE – State Sen. Jack Latvala failed to pass 29 of the 38 bills he sponsored this year, but he might have been the session’s most effective lawmaker. “Jack was the MVP,” said Sen. Jeremy Ring, D-Margate. Latvala, 58, … Continue reading
Florida Legislature: From Machiavelli to Orwell Posted by Dick Batchelor on May, 11 2011 There are 120 members of the Florida House of Representatives, with 40 men and women in the Florida Senate. Given the Machiavellian manner in which House Speaker Dean Cannon and Senate President Mike Haridopolos grabbed control of the Legislature and the budget, not to mention substantive legislation, perhaps there is need for a smaller House and a smaller Senate, with only Cannon, … Continue reading
Republican court overhaul fell short of original goal By Adolfo Pesquera, Daily Business Review | May 11, 2011 So sweeping was the breadth of changes the Legislature intended to inflict on the Florida judiciary, it helps to summarize the session by listing what won’t happen. The state Supreme Court won’t split in two, and it won’t be packed with three new Republican-picked justices. The Florida Bar won’t be removed from the selection of Judicial Nominating … Continue reading
Attack on judicial independence Herald-Tribune | May 10, 2011 Resistance was not futile. Because a small band of state senators — including Nancy Detert, a Sarasota County Republican — resisted pressure from their party’s leadership, a proposal to undermine judicial independence and further politicize the appointment of judges in Florida was defeated. These conservative contrarians, who held fast to their belief in the separation of powers, deserve credit from all Floridians who hold the same … Continue reading
Cannon’s $400,000 folly If at first you don’t succeed, finance a study Tallahassee Democrat | May 10, 2011 House Speaker Dean Cannon’s petulant ambitions to reform and rein in the state Supreme Court do nothing to enhance his reputation, or Florida’s. On Sunday, the New York Times marveled at Mr. Cannon’s “brazenly partisan court-packing plan” and “specious arguments” about problems to be solved — which were debunked. Mr. Cannon’s plan to split the court into … Continue reading
No good reason to squander $400,000 to study a Supreme Court makeover The Orlando Sentinel | May 7, 2011 House Speaker Dean Cannon’s politically driven proposal to divide and pack the Florida Supreme Court is dead — for now. It expired this week after running into bipartisan opposition from senators who recognized it as an assault on the independence of the state’s highest court. But because the speaker won’t take no for an answer, the … Continue reading
New York Times EDITORIAL Published: May 7, 2011 A handful of Republican state senators in Florida bucked G.O.P. leaders last week to help Democrats block a brazenly partisan court-packing plan from gaining a place on next year’s ballot. Championed by the state’s Republican House speaker, Dean Cannon, and approved by his chamber, the plan called for expanding the Supreme Court from seven to 10 justices, and splitting the bench into two separate five-member divisions for … Continue reading
Vindictive speaker helps abolish the state death penalty commission News-Press | May 5, 2011 How much is life-and-death information worth? We have an answer: $370,000. That, apparently, is too much. The Florida Commission on Capital Cases was eliminated Thursday in an unexpected, undiscussed, unfathomable conference of legislators. The House put into a budget conforming bill – late in the session, without any previous hearings, at an Appropriations Committee meeting – repeal of the state law … Continue reading
Legislature passes overhaul of state courts The Miami Herald| May 5, 2011 The Associated Press TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida lawmakers have put a watered down court-system overhaul on the November 2012 ballot, where it’ll need 60 percent voter approval. The proposed constitutional amendment (HJR 7111) received final legislative approval in the Senate by a 24-11 vote – the bare minimum needed for passage. The Senate earlier removed a provision from the House proposal that would … Continue reading
Backsliding after the Sansom scandal? By Gary Fineout | May 05, 2011 One of the things that did change in the wake of the arrest of former House Speaker Ray Sansom is that lawmakers changed the way they handled the state budget. Sansom was charged with using his power as budget chairman to slip in $6 million for a project being sought by a developer and donor. The charges against the Destin Republican were dropped … Continue reading
Florida Senate Approves Controversial Overhaul of state Supreme Court The Wall Street Journal, Law Blog | May 4, 2011 The Florida Supreme Court (pictured) has been the subject of close legislative scrutiny in recent weeks, as lawmakers in the Sunshine State have been contemplating splitting the court into civil and criminal divisions — a proposal that critics have derided as a partisan effort to allow Republicans to appoint like-minded jurists.
Case closed: No new study By The Palm Beach Post | May 3, 2011 Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park, deservedly lost his attempt to undermine the independence of the Florida Supreme Court. Rather than accept defeat, however, he may turn into a sore loser and use his office to gear up for a similar attempt next year.
The House proposes, the Senate disposes By Howard Troxler, The St.Petersburg Times | May 4, 2011 Some people say Florida should switch to a one-chamber Legislature, like Nebraska. The theory seems to be the fewer politicians, the better. Not me, Jack. Can’t tell you how many times over the years I’ve muttered to myself: “Thank God for the Senate.” (I say this about the House once in a while, but not as often.)
Cannon’s Supreme Court changes get budget love By Kathleen Haughney May 4, 2011 10:46 AM Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel House Speaker Dean Cannon may not have gotten a total win on his Supreme Court reform plan after the Senate refused to go along with his plan as a whole, but he isn’t completely letting the issue die. Tucked inside the budget is $400,000 for a study to review and make recommendations on how the Supreme … Continue reading
Court splitting study gets $400k in budget The Florida Times-Union PolitiJax Blog | May 4, 2011 Tucked in the legislature’s $70 billion budget is $400,000 for a study to, among other things, look at whether the Supreme Court could be “enhanced” if it were split into civil and criminal panels. If you recall, expanding and splitting the Supreme Court was a top priority of House Speaker Dean Cannon, but he could not get the plan … Continue reading
Florida Puts Overhaul of Courts to the Voters By Don Van Natta Jr., The New York Times| May 3, 2011 MIAMI — The Florida Senate has decided to put major changes in the state court system before voters next year but only after rejecting the most contentious proposal, which would have split the Supreme Court in two. The debate over the most sweeping judicial overhaul package in the country ended late Monday in a partial … Continue reading
Court changes less bad but still bad The St.Petersburg Times | May 4, 2011 Splitting the Florida Supreme Court into separate criminal and civil divisions and adding three justices was always more about Republican House Speaker Dean Cannon’s animosity toward the high court than any pressing need. Now that Cannon’s original idea has been defeated by moderate state Senate Republicans joining Senate Democrats, what’s left of the proposed constitutional amendment is just distasteful, not disastrous. … Continue reading
Supreme Court overhaul drastically scaled back By Zac Anderson, The Herald Tribune | May 2nd, 2011 House and Senate leaders reached a compromise Monday on a plan to dramatically overhaul Florida’s Supreme Court, with senators adopting a significantly scaled back version of House Speaker Dean Cannon’s signature issue. Senators scratched Cannon’s proposal to split the court into a criminal division and a civil division. They also decided not to expand the court from seven to 10 … Continue reading
Without Court Split-Up, Senate Passes Reform Amendment By: Gray Rohrer, Sunshine State News | May 3, 2011 Senate confirmation of justices approved, Cannon’s halving of Supreme Court stricken A constitutional amendment that would rework how justices are chosen to serve on the Florida Supreme Court came closer to being placed on the 2012 ballot Monday. The Florida Senate approved the measure, but not before changing the reform package significantly. Gone are provisions that would have … Continue reading
Senate passes Supreme Court overhaul — without expansion plan By Janet Zink, Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau The Miami Herald | May 2, 2011 A move to reshape the state Supreme Court ran into political opposition among Democrats and Republicans who removed the controversial part of the bill. TALLAHASSEE — The Senate handed House Speaker Dean Cannon a partial victory Monday in his effort to overhaul the Florida Supreme Court but only after stripping out the most … Continue reading
Florida court expansion plan killed But lawmakers would be able to confirm justices and access documents. By Matt Dixon, The Florida Times-Union | May 3, 2011 TALLAHASSEE – A proposal to expand the Supreme Court to 10 members and split it into two panels, a top priority of House Speaker Dean Cannon, was gutted Monday by the Senate before it passed a watered-down version.
Fla. Senate rejects major overhaul of state courts By James L. Rosica, Associated Press The Miami Herald | May 2, 2011 TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida Senate on Monday threw out most of a proposed court-system overhaul that came from the House, removing the biggest change – a division of the state Supreme Court into separate divisions for civil and criminal appeals.
Florida Senate votes to put changes in state Supreme Court on ballot By Kathleen Haughney, Tallahassee Bureau The Orlando Sentinel | May 2, 2011 TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Senate voted Monday to put major reforms in the state Supreme Court before voters next year, but it stopped short of making all the changes sought by House Speaker Dean Cannon.
Senate scraps Cannon plan to split the Supreme Court By Aaron Deslatte, Sun Sentinel | May 2, 2011 TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Senate opted Monday night to give House Speaker Dean Cannon half a loaf instead of the entire reform of the judiciary system he coveted. Sen. Ellen Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, filed an amendment along with a handful of other senators to remove the split Supreme Court from the constitutional reform that the House passed … Continue reading
Fla. Senate Rejects Plan To Split State’s Top Court By Carolina Bolado Law360, New York (May 2, 2011) — The Florida Senate on Monday eviscerated a controversial proposed judicial reform amendment, removing a provision that would have added justices to the state Supreme Court and split it into civil and criminal divisions. The chamber voted 28-11 to pass a new version of the amendment, which also killed a provision that required the state’s court system … Continue reading
Senate plans to strip Cannon’s court overhaul, send it back By Dara Kam, The Palm Beach Post | May 2nd, 2011 The Florida Senate may “the most conservative Senate ever,” as President Mike Haridopolos boasted at the onset of the legislative session.
Lawmakers use your cash to overturn your vote By Scott Maxwell, TAKING NAMES The Orlando Sentinel | April 30, 2011 Right now, legislators are waging a wicked war — against democracy itself. Sound extreme? Well, consider the following: They’re using your money to pay lawyers $300 an hour to try to overturn one of your votes. They’re trying to shorten the amount of time you have to vote in the future. They want to make … Continue reading
Courageous stand against Cannon’s court plan The St.Petersburg Times | April 30, 2011 House Speaker Dean Cannon’s purely political play to split the Florida Supreme Court in half continues to be a solution in search of a problem. At least five Republican senators — and possibly more — have courageously refused to back Cannon’s thinly veiled retribution against the court. Those Republicans, and the Senate’s Democrats, should stand firm for another week lest Cannon’s scheme … Continue reading
Democrats say GOP lawmakers passing bills to grab more power By William March, The Tampa Tribune | May 02, 2011 TALLAHASSEE — With Florida sunk in the depths of a recession, this year’s legislative session was supposed to be about jobs, jobs, jobs. Instead, some charge, it’s about politics, politics, politics. Armed with veto-proof majorities, Republican legislative leaders are passing one bill after another that appears aimed at maintaining their own political dominance and undercutting … Continue reading