Tag Archives: balance of power
I voted early and chose, “Yes” to retain the three Florida Supreme Court Justices up for merit retention. Here is why. “Merit retention,” was wisely put into place so that voters could get rid of justices who dishonor their office, not to mock our system of checks and balances. Read more here: http://www.gainesville.com/article/20121029/OPINION/121029549/1109/sports?Title=Charlie-Crist-Vote-Yes-for-merit-retention&tc=ar.
In an election year with a momentous presidential race, it may surprise voters to learn that one of the most important and historic decisions for Floridians is actually toward the very end of their ballot. Three of Florida’s Supreme Court Justices and a number of appellate judges are on the ballot for a regularly slated merit retention vote. Read more here: http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2012/oct/28/guest-commentary/.
Amendment 5 is one of the 11 legislatively proposed amendments to Florida’s constitution on the November ballot. It presents three different and distinct proposed changes to how Florida’s court system is constitutionally structured. Read more here: http://www2.tbo.com/news/opinion/2012/oct/28/vwviewo1-a-threat-to-our-courts-ar-545818/.
As the election nears, voters are taking a look at this year’s lengthy ballot. Amid the clutter is a terribly troubling power play by elements of the Florida Republican Party. Some conservatives are urging voters to vote against the retention of three Florida Supreme Court justices. Read more here: http://www2.hernandotoday.com/news/hernando-news/2012/oct/28/conservatives-taking-aim-at-three-supreme-court-ju-ar-546995/.
We Floridians are in danger of losing the last and most important safeguard the individual citizen has against the overwhelming power of government, special interest money and political machinery: our independent and nonpartisan state Supreme Court. Read more here: http://www2.tbo.com/news/opinion/2012/oct/27/naopino1-fight-effort-to-destroy-independent-judic-ar-545755/.
When my daughter was a toddler, her pediatrician asked if our home has a pool. It does. I didn’t take offense. The doctor asked if we had gates and alarms, and she stressed the importance of swim lessons for kids. It seemed perfectly reasonable, if the goal was my girl’s health and well-being. Read more here: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/columnists/fl-docs-glocks-mayocol-b071512-20120714,0,4971318.column.
Florida’s pension plan for public workers faces a legal showdown in early September before the state’s highest court. On the morning of Sept. 7, the Florida Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case in which the justices will decide the fate of a 2011 legislative decision that required state workers, school employees, county workers and other public employees who participate in the pension fund of more than $120 billion to pay 3 percent … Continue reading
TALLAHASSEE — A high-stakes battle in Florida is brewing over the retention of three Florida Supreme Court justices, pitting Gov. Rick Scott and tea party activists against a bipartisan coalition of lawyers. Read more here: http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/national-govt-politics/florida-supremes-face-political-battle-to-keep-job/nPsqM/.
At least once a month, I have a conversation with my 8-year-old that sounds something like this: “Stop that.” “Why?” “Stop that.” “How come?” “STOP THAT!” I imagine this is going on behind closed doors in Tallahassee, too. Because it seems like our governor and the Legislature want to fool around in things that judges and the federal government keep telling them to stay away from. Read more here: http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/temper-tantrums-in-tallahassee/1233408.
The U.S. and Florida supreme courts’ critics try to undermine judicial authority and independence, and, in effect, weaken democracy. A strong, independent judicial system is a cornerstone of American democracy. Citizens depend on justices and judges who can make wise, sometimes unpopular, decisions without political meddling that might undermine their authority. The system works effectively, if not always to the liking of one group or another. There will always be winners and losers on any … Continue reading
A truly conservative Florida Legislature would not have done what the 2012 Legislature tried to do to the state court system. A truly conservative Florida Legislature would not even have considered giving the governor complete power to pick judges. But despite its claims to the contrary, this is not a conservative Florida Legislature. It is an ideological Florida Legislature that doesn’t believe in separation of powers. http://www.palmbeachpost.com/opinion/columnists/schultz-conservatives-in-tallahassee-arent-true-conservatives-2228428.html
The Florida Supreme Court on Friday followed the will of the voters who demanded more reasonably drawn legislative districts. The court’s landmark redistricting opinion thoughtfully defined the constitutional amendment approved in 2010 and invalidated new state Senate districts for clearly failing to meet those requirements. This is a victory for Floridians who want fair elections and a sound defeat for drawing maps that rig the outcomes and protect incumbents. http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/editorials/article1219285.ece
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
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
House Speaker Dean Cannon: “We appreciate the preparation, thorough review and thoughtfulness of the court’s response. Throughout the redistricting process, the House demonstrated a commitment to following the letter of the law, and I am proud of Speaker-Designate Weatherford and all of our Members who worked so hard to craft this new map. We understand the difficulty of the court’s duty to review the application of new constitutional language. We appreciate the court providing input as … Continue reading
We recently received a campaign email from Chief Justice Chuck Malone. Malone, who was appointed chief justice last August by Gov. Robert Bentley, was offering an upbeat message to his friends and supporters. “For the first time, we have a completely Republican Supreme Court and I am honored to be able to serve the people of Alabama as Chief Justice of that court and to ensure that the rule of law is upheld in our … Continue reading
NORTHFIELD, N.H. – Taking a page from rival Newt Gingrich, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum on Thursday leveled tough criticism at the judiciary, saying judges have become too powerful and that as president he would do away with some courts. Speaking to a crowd of 200 at a town hall at Merrimack Valley Railroad, Santorum said the courts needs to be reined in. “The third branch of government is in fact too powerful in the … Continue reading
It was open season on judicial independence in Florida during the 2011 legislative session. Lawmakers introduced a series of insidious proposals to boost their sway, or the governor’s, over judges. One of the worst proposals would have given the governor sole discretion in naming the panels that nominate candidates for appointment to the bench. It passed in the House, but was wisely rejected by the Senate amid bipartisan opposition. Yet Gov. Rick Scott recently said … Continue reading
TALLAHASSEE Gov. Rick Scott and top Republican lawmakers say a series of unfavorable court rulings on legislation they pushed last spring will not deter them from again pursuing a strong conservative agenda in 2012. With contentious issues such as state employee health insurance changes, prayer in schools, higher education reform and the drawing of new political districts on tap for the legislative session that begins in January, more legal battles are likely. For Democrats — … 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
By Judge Kevin S. Burke Last week I unintentionally started a debate with the Newt Gingrich campaign by writing a commentary entitled “Gingrich Attacks on the Courts: Should We Listen to Him? ” Gingrich clearly did not like what I had to say and responded by posting a point-by-point rebuttal on his official website, later reprinted by MinnPost. (Well, in fairness to him, his staff posted it.) The response is even more remarkable than Gingrich’s previous … Continue reading
The following commentary, which was published on the NEWT 2012 website, responds to MinnPost’s Oct. 20 Community Voices piece, “Newt Gingrich’s attacks on the courts: Should we pay attention to him?” by Judge Kevin S. Burke. The campaign also posted a second response, having to do with Burke’s interpretation of the Establishment Clause. In a recent speech and a 29-page campaign position paper, Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich outlined his rejection of judicial supremacy, the … Continue reading
Hennepin County Judge Kevin Burke hit a nerve last week with none other than Newt Gingrich. To catch you up: Burke wrote a column in MinnPost criticizing some of Gingrich’s public statements about the judges and the judicial branch on the campaign trail. The former Speaker of the House, Gingrich is running for president but has yet to attract much attention from his party. Burke took issue with some of the promises Gingrich is making, … Continue reading
The nation has enough problems for legislators and presidential candidates to worry about. So why are they attacking the judiciary? They can’t create jobs for their constituents. They cannot stem the budget shortfalls that are turning their districts into third-world wards. They cannot find solutions to the complex problems raised by the internationalization of world economics. And they dare not take on powerful corporate interests because that would require them to turn on their masters, … Continue reading
The Economist offers another look at the dire budget crises that courts across the country are facing, and concludes that underfunding the courts “weakens the economy as well as access to justice.” The article begins: “In theory America’s three branches of government are equal. In practice the judiciary is the weakest, as Alexander Hamilton cautioned in “The Federalist Papers”, because it controls neither sword nor purse. Of late, state legislatures and executives have been closing … 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
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