Tag Archives: florida legislature
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/.
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/.
The appellate prosecutor in the murder case cited by the Republican Party of Florida to depict three state Supreme Court justices as “judicial activists” said Friday all three are “outstanding justices who are being unfairly attacked for overtly political reasons.” Tallahassee lawyer Curtis M. French said he resents his successful appeal to Washington being used as “Exhibit A” in the political case against Florida Justices Peggy Quince, Barbara Pariente and R. Fred Lewis. He said they will have his vote Nov. 6. Read more here: http://www.thefloridacurrent.com/article.cfm?id=29975579.
Should they stay or should they go? Since Florida began holding merit retention elections for its Supreme Court justices and appeals judges in 1978, state voters have always voted to keep them on the bench. Read more here: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/opinion/os-ed-endorsement-supreme-court-102612-20121025,0,3177685.story.
We’ve often said about the Republican Party that “99 and a half won’t do” for them. They’ve got to have it all. The latest example? The Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) wants to take over the top level of Florida’s judicial branch: the Florida Supreme Court. Read more here: http://flcourier.com/2012/10/25/change-the-rules-and-change-the-refs/.
WINTER PARK, Fla. — A measure is on the ballot and an effort is underway to remove and replace three Florida Supreme Court justices. The justices, Barbara Pariente, Peggy Quince and R. Fred Lewis, are on the ballot for merit retention. Read more here: http://www.wesh.com/news/politics/Amendment-5-seeks-to-remove-3-Fla-supreme-court-justices/-/11788048/17146008/-/siygbh/-/index.html#ixzz2ARTtANDI.
A proposed constitutional amendment that would change the way Florida Supreme Court justices are appointed and give the legislature more control over court rules isn’t a power grab, said a House Speaker who pushed the proposal. Read more here: http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/election-2012-state-ballot-questions-on-courts-stu/nSjt4/.
Even as three Florida Supreme Court justices fight to hold onto their seats in merit elections scheduled for November, a ballot proposal that would change how future appointees are named to the court is also headed to voters. Read more here: http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/showstory.php?Story_id=537625.
Title on ballot: State Courts What it would do: This measure would provide for Senate confirmation of Supreme Court justices; give lawmakers control over changes to the rules governing the court system; and direct the Judicial Qualifications Commission, which investigates judicial misconduct complaints, to make its files available to the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives. Read more here: http://staugustine.com/news/local-news/2012-09-23-0#.UImMiG_A-aV.
The amendments that you will see on this year’s ballot are proposed changes to the Florida Constitution. Our state constitution – similar to the U.S Constitution – establishes rules and basic rights. It covers freedoms such as religion, speech, press, assemblage, work and bearing of arms. Read more here: http://flcourier.com/2012/10/25/another-gop-power-grab/.
The least understood portion of the November ballot may be the section asking voters whether three Florida Supreme Court justices and other appellate judges should keep their jobs. The justices, the Florida Bar and other groups are embarking on public education campaigns, and with good reason. The merit retention system is designed to preserve the judiciary branch’s independence and protect it from corruption and political influence, and the Republican Party of Florida and a conservative … Continue reading
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.
MIAMI — A federal judge has blocked the state of Florida from enforcing a law pushed by firearms advocates that banned thousands of doctors from discussing gun ownership with their patients. U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke, who had already issued a preliminary injunction last September, made her decision permanent late Friday when she ruled in favor of groups of physicians who asserted that the law violated their free speech rights. She said the law was so “vague” that … Continue reading
You may have missed it, but last week Dwayne Taylor, D-Daytona Beach, was again returned to the Florida Legislature without the fuss and bother of anyone having to vote for him. When the qualifying deadline passed Friday, he was one of 30 candidates for the Florida House of Representatives who had no opposition. Read more here: http://www.news-journalonline.com/columns/footnote/2012/06/13/too-many-legislative-seats-picked-without-a-contest.html.
With Republican legislative leaders and the Florida League of Cities already weighing in, Gov. Rick Scott and Cabinet officers have asked the state Supreme Court to approve a plan requiring public workers to chip in money to the state pension system. Read more here: http://www.wctv.tv/news/headlines/Florida_Pension_Fight_Heats_Up_in_Supreme_Court_158867625.html?ref=625.
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.
Friday’s Florida Supreme Court ruling that affirms the state Senate’s redistricting boundaries also points out the flaws in the system and the need for additional constitutional changes. One justice called for the establishment of an independent apportionment commission to take the process out of the hands of lawmakers who exert political influence over boundaries. That would lend greater credibility to redistricting. Read more here: http://www.bradenton.com/2012/05/02/4021338/fls-fair-districts-improves-redistricting.html#storylink=cpy.
In a matter of days two hurdles to holding an orderly election in November in Florida disappeared, clearing the way for candidates for 27 congressional districts, 40 state Senate seats and 120 state House seats to fire up their campaigns. Both hurdles involved the Legislature’s redistricting process, which for the first time was guided by two anti-gerrymandering constitutional amendments overwhelmingly approved by Florida voters in 2010. Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/05/01/2778049/redistricting-legal-but-flawed.html.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Democrats and groups that backed the Florida Constitution’s new anti-gerrymandering standards took aim at lawmakers’ revised Senate redistricting map in filings Tuesday with the state Supreme Court. All say the Republican-controlled Legislature’s do-over still violates the Fair Districts standards that the justices cited in kicking back the original map. They differ, though, on some of details including how minority districts should be drawn. Preserving minority voting rights is one of the Fair … Continue reading
When a leaking underground drainage system pitted roads and driveways and created sinkholes in lawns at a Winter Garden subdivision, homeowners sued the developer to cover the damage and repair costs. After conflicting rulings in lower courts, the case reached the Florida Supreme Court, which heard arguments on it in December. But before the justices had issued a ruling, the Florida Legislature stepped in like Judge Judy and moved to decide the case — and … Continue reading
In a precedent-setting legal opinion, First District Court of Appeals Judge Phil Padovano ruled today that legislators are entitled to the common law immunity from prosecution and cannot be compelled to testify about how they arrived at their decisions. Download 1st DCA ruling on legislative immunity. The ruling reversed a trial court decision that had forced Rep. Rick Kriseman, a Tampa Democrat, and his aide to testify about the source of legal documents they obtained during the … Continue reading
Fresh from smacking down the state Senate redistricting maps as unconstitutional, the Florida Supreme Court has decided to take up another lawsuit targeting Senate President Mike Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island. This time, the court will rule over whether the state lawmakers—and not universities—have the power to set tuition rates. Currently, the Legislature sets tuition increases, with universities held to a 15-percent cap. Read more here: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2012/03/supreme-court-vs-legislators-again-tuition-case-goes-to-highest-court.htm
The Legislature is back in session, at additional taxpayer expense, to try again at redistricting. The Senate’s plan failed to meet a state constitutional mandate voters issued last year to avoid gerrymandering to benefit incumbents, the Florida Supreme Court ruled. Read more at Jacksonville.com: http://jacksonville.com/opinion/editorials/2012-03-16/story/florida-senate-flubbed-its-top-priority
After the Florida Supreme Court cast a dark cloud over the state Senate’s redistricting map, it behooves the Legislature to let some sunshine in. The court last week ruled that eight of the 40 new districts the Senate drew violated the Florida Constitution’s Fair Districts amendments. Among the disqualified were the proposed Panhandle Districts 1 and 3, which are almost identical to the current districts currently represented by Sens. Don Gaetz and Greg Evers. Read … Continue reading
Upon deeper review of the Florida Supreme Court decision on Friday invalidating the state Senate’s redistricting plan, a startling fact came to light: the Republican-dominated chamber’s brazen and arrogant attempt at protecting incumbents through the district numbering system. While justices cited constitutionally improper boundaries in eight of the 40 Senate districts, the court’s 234-page majority opinion also condemned trickery with numbers that improperly protects incumbents. Read more: http://www.bradenton.com/2012/03/15/3938742/florida-senates-brazen-redistricting.html Read more here:
TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Legislature reconvened in a 15-day special session Wednesday to redraw Senate district boundaries rejected by the state Supreme Court, which ruled a first attempt was aimed chiefly at protecting ruling Republicans. Senate Reapportionment Chairman Don Gaetz sounded a conciliatory tone. Read more: http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/state/florida-senate-back-at-work-on-court-demand-2238194.html
Senate doesn’t want new Cong. maps until after elections; wasn’t Don Gaetz calling this a “conspiracy theory” in Sept.?
Mary Ellen Klas reportstonight that the Florida Senate is asking the courts to wait until after the November elections to hear a challenge to the congressional redistricting maps that were built using the same principles the high court has already rejected. “…under a reasonable schedule, it is practically impossible to resolve this case in time for any remedy to be implemented for the impending elections,” wrote lawyers for the Florida Senate in a scheduling brief filed Monday … Continue reading
Florida Senate leaders hope a few tweaks can fix their state Supreme Court-invalidated redistricting plan, but any changes could have a domino effect on local and statewide politics. Among the impacts as the Senate convenes Wednesday for a 15-day special legislative session on redistricting: Whether Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, will be eligible for another six years in office rather than the typical four-year term and the shape of the two main Senate districts that cover … Continue reading
The saber rattling on one end of Northwest Florida as the legislative session drew to a close contrasted mightily with a barely remarked upon act of chivalry playing out on the other. Read more: http://www.nwfdailynews.com/articles/legislature-48141–.html
Good for the Florida Supreme Court for disregarding demands that it take a timid approach to interpreting the state constitution, and to respecting the will of the voters. Read more: http://www.news-press.com/article/20120313/OPINION/303130013/1075/Florida-Supreme-Court-upholds-will-people
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
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
Florida governor’s pro-growth plan eliminates business levy Florida Gov. Rick Scott joined fellow state executives for dinner at the White House Sunday night. Before the rib-eye steak or Maryland crab mac & cheese hit the plates, the first-term Republican served President Obama with a letter about corporate taxes. Read more here: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/feb/27/rick-scotts-zero-percent-tax/
TALLAHASSEE — Attorneys for opposing sides in Florida’s redistricting fight submitted briefs to the Florida Supreme Court on Friday, with each urging the high court to take drastically different approaches in reviewing maps that redraw the state’s political boundaries. Attorney General Pam Bondi, along with the lawyers for the Republican-led House and Senate, want the court to give deference to the Legislature, avoid getting into the facts behind the maps and sign off on the … Continue reading
TALLAHASSEE — It’s only two days into the legislative session, but lawmakers are keeping busy with committees passing out a variety of bills so far this week and hearing presentations on many other issues. So with that, here are five stories you should be reading this morning. * The Orlando Sentinel reports that a new House bill would give the governor power over agency rules. From the story: House lawmakers are advancing a response to … 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
The push is on in Florida to cut the courts out of the foreclosure process by Janet Zink Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/09/21/v-print/2417050/rick-scott-gop-to-consider-taking.html#ixzz1YbJcC7uY Supporters of the concept — which is used in nearly 30 states — say it will speed foreclosures, get houses back onto the real estate market and boost the economy. Opponents say it puts property owners at the mercy of banks. Gov. Rick Scott, House Speaker Dean Cannon and Senate President Mike Haridopolos all … Continue reading