Tag Archives: House Speaker

Foreclosure mediation program’s low rate of success leaves its future in doubt

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

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off

Rick Scott, GOP to consider taking courts out of foreclosure process

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

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Florida Governor Scott’s Orders Exceeded Authority, State High Court Rules

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

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off

Death Warrant Signed, Commission Killed

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

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Editorial: State must fix funding for courts

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

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

Courts face funding crisis

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

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

HJR 7111 Floor Debate

Watch a video of the HJR 7111 Floor Debate right here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

Four past, current justices given independence awards

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

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

Texas Supreme Court Justice opines on split court ineffeciencies

“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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Our Opinion: Governor needs to veto court study

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

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

OPPAGA gets ready to bid out Supreme Court workload study

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

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off

‘Taj Mahal’ courthouse judge must go

‘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

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

Rating Florida’s Senate: Leaders and letdowns

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.

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

State Sen. Jack Latvala leveraged his vote to slow down conservative march

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

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

Republican court overhaul fell short of original goal

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

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

Attack on judicial independence

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

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

Cannon’s $400,000 folly

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

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

No good reason to squander $400,000 to study a Supreme Court makeover

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

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Standing up for Florida’s Courts

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

Backsliding after the Sansom scandal?

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

Florida Senate Approves Controversial Overhaul of state Supreme Court

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.

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

Unfortunately, the assault on Florida’s court system is not over.

This gallery contains 1 photo.

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

More Galleries | Comments Off

Case closed: No new study

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.

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

The House proposes, the Senate disposes

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.)

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

Cannon’s Supreme Court changes get budget love

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

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

Florida Puts Overhaul of Courts to the Voters

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

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

Court changes less bad but still bad

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

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Supreme Court overhaul drastically scaled back

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

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Without Court Split-Up, Senate Passes Reform Amendment

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

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Senate passes Supreme Court overhaul — without expansion plan

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

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Florida court expansion plan killed

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.

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Fla. Senate rejects major overhaul of state courts

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.

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Florida Senate votes to put changes in state Supreme Court on ballot

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.

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Senate scraps Cannon plan to split the Supreme Court

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

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Fla. Senate Rejects Plan To Split State’s Top Court

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

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Senate plans to strip Cannon’s court overhaul, send it back

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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Lawmakers use your cash to overturn your vote

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

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Courageous stand against Cannon’s court plan

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

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Democrats say GOP lawmakers passing bills to grab more power

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

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Our view: Supreme Court overhaul: Ditch it

Our view: Supreme Court overhaul: Ditch it StAugustine.com | May 1, 2011 The controversial proposed overhaul of the Florida Supreme Court — splitting it into a criminal and a civil division — was, as of Thursday, struggling to stay alive in the Florida Legislature. We hope it dies. Period.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Court Split to be Nixed by Senate

Court Split to be Nixed by Senate By Mike Vasilinda, The Capitol News Service | April 29th, 2011 Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon is one of the three most powerful people in state government, so when he announced a plan in March to split Florida’s Supreme Court, people took notice. Cannon has been upset with the court since it removed three legislative amendments from last years ballot. Now, as Mike Vasilinda tells us, the court … Continue reading

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Cannon’s Supreme Court bill is stalled in the Senate

Cannon’s Supreme Court bill is stalled in the Senate The Buzz, from the staff of The St.Petersburg Times | 4/29/2011 Strong resistance from Senate Republicans to House Speaker Dean Cannon’s Supreme Court plan has the fate of Cannon’s pet proposal in peril. Senators Paula Dockery and Ronda Storms both say they have more than enough votes to keep the resolution from passing in the chamber. The only thing that could save it is an amendment from Sen. … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Letter: Be careful about introducing too much politics to Florida judicial system

Letter: Be careful about introducing too much politics to Florida judicial system By Mike Crary, TCPalm | April 29, 2011 Letter: Be careful about introducing too much politics to Florida judicial system Eve Samples’ April 22 column rightly highlighted the unusual degree of tinkering that some legislators propose for the justice system. The changes would do little to make courts more-efficient and a lot to make them unpredictable. A bill to increase the percentage of … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Dean Cannon’s Court Reform Runs Into Senate Opposition

Dean Cannon’s Court Reform Runs Into Senate Opposition By Gray Rohrer Sunshine State News| April 29, 2011 Senate resistant to House speaker’s plan to reshuffle Supreme Court A plan to split the Florida Supreme Court into two different bodies dealing with civil and criminal cases, fundamentally changing how justices are selected, encountered fierce resistance Thursday in the Florida Senate. Brainchild of House Speaker Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park, the move is seen by opponents as payback … Continue reading

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Split Supreme Court plan jams up Senate

Split Supreme Court plan jams up Senate By Aaron Deslatte and Kathleen Haughney, Tallahassee Bureau The Orlando Sentinel | April 28, 2011 TALLAHASSEE — House Speaker Dean Cannon’s plan to re-shape the Florida Supreme Court is provoking a fierce lobbying effort in the Senate and threatening to bog down work on the state budget and a host of other issues.

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Proposal to Split Florida Supreme Court Faces Long Odds in the Senate

Proposal to Split Florida Supreme Court Faces Long Odds in the Senate FlaglerLive | April 28, 2011 The fate of House Speaker Dean Cannon’s overhaul of the Supreme Court seemed to rest on a knife’s edge Thursday evening, with little more than a week to go in the legislative session and several Republican senators sounding hesitant about the proposal despite heavy lobbying by leadership.

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Plan to enlarge high court questioned

Plan to enlarge high court questioned By Bill Cotterell • Florida Capital Bureau The Tallahassee Democrat | Published: April 29, 2011 House Speaker Dean Cannon’s politically charged plan to enlarge the Florida Supreme Court ran into tough questioning in the Senate on Thursday despite intense lobbying by Republican leadership. Senate President Mike Haridopolos and Rules Committee Chairman John Thrasher stressed that legislative approval of the amendment would only put it on the ballot for a … Continue reading

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Florida Supreme Court overhaul hits resistance in Senate

Florida Supreme Court overhaul hits resistance in Senate By Janet Zink and Mary Ellen Klas, Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau The Tampa Tribune| 4/29/2011 TALLAHASSEE — A bill to overhaul the state Supreme Court has run into steep resistance in the Florida Senate, raising doubts about whether the top priority of House Speaker Dean Cannon will pass this session.

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Senate holds nose and eyes Cannon’s court rewrite

Senate holds nose and eyes Cannon’s court rewrite by John Kennedy, The Palm Beach Post | April 28th, 2011 House Speaker Dean Cannon’s landmark — and personal — push to revamp the Florida Supreme Court drew some harsh questioning, but is teed-up for an eventual Senate vote. The Winter Park Republican effectively put budget talks on ice until Senate budget chief J.D. Alexander earlier this week put the court overhaul in play.

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Statement from Elaine Barbour, Attorney at Law

From: Elaine Barbour Sent: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 6:22 PM To: Amicus@FairandImpartial.com Subject: SJR 2084 and SB 2170 I write to voice my strong opposition to these bills.  The rule making authority of the Supreme Court of Florida is under attack in SJR 2084 with no valid reason.  If there was some valid reason proposed I would certainly have an open mind.  Having heard none, I cannot understand the logic behind the bill other than … Continue reading

Posted in Statements, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

The speaker plays hardball

The speaker plays hardball The Tampa Tribune | 4/27/2011 Earlier this month, Speaker of the House Dean Cannon saw his priority legislation — changing the formation of the Florida Supreme Court — pass his chamber by a wide margin. But until Monday, the Senate had yet to play ball. Then, the Senate’s chief budget negotiator, JD Alexander, offered a surprise strike-all amendment to another bill during a key committee hearing: The language of the amendment … Continue reading

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Former Supreme Court justice lobbying Senators to reject court overhaul

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

Posted in News, Supporters, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Cannon refused to start work on budget until his needless priority, court-packing, got a Senate hear

Cannon refused to start work on budget until his needless priority, court-packing, got a Senate hear The Palm Beach Post | 4/26/2011 It’s official: House Speaker Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park, will hold everything in the Legislature hostage to his plan for packing the Florida Supreme Court.

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Fla. House, Senate leaders break budget deadlock

Fla. House, Senate leaders break budget deadlock By Bill Kaczor, Associated Press The Washington Examiner | 4/26/2011 Leaders of the Republican-controlled House and Senate cleared the way for formal budget negotiations Tuesday by settling preliminary issues after about two weeks of delay and just a day after their budget leaders exchanged some harsh words.

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

League opposes court overhaul central to budget deal

League opposes court overhaul central to budget deal by John Kennedy, The Palm Beach Post | April 26th, 2011 The League of Women Voters of Florida weighed-in Tuesday opposing the House-Senate budget deal that includes asking voters next year to overhaul the state Supreme Court.

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

In surprise move, Senate passes Supreme Court split

In surprise move, Senate passes Supreme Court split By Lindsay Peterson | The Tampa Tribune Published: April 26, 2011 TALLAHASSEE — In a play to speed budget negotiations with the House, a key Senate committee on Monday dropped its resistance to a controversial proposal that would give lawmakers and the governor more power over the Florida Supreme Court.

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Florida Panel Passes Plan To Split State’s Top Court

Florida Panel Passes Plan To Split State’s Top Court By Carolina Bolado Law360, New York (April 26, 2011) — The Florida Senate budget committee signed off on a controversial amendment Monday that would add justices to the state Supreme Court and split it into civil and criminal divisions, in what opponents claim is a politically-motivated attempt to pack the courts. The committee tacked the measure on to a proposed constitutional amendment that would make it … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

After secret talks, Republicans end budget impasse

After secret talks, Republicans end budget impasse By Marc Caputo, Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau The St.Petersburg Times | 4/27/11 TALLAHASSEE — After secret talks and public acrimony, the Florida Legislature’s Republican leaders announced they reached a budget deal Tuesday, sparing them the embarrassment of an overtime lawmaking session.

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Controversial Plan to Split Florida’s Supreme Court Moves Forward

Controversial Plan to Split Florida’s Supreme Court Moves Forward By Nathan Koppel, The Wall Street Journal Law Blog | 4/26/11 We recently noted the controversy in Florida over a move by legislators to split the state’s high court in two, with civil and criminal branches. The proposal received a vote of approval yesterday  in the Florida Senate, the Tampa Tribune reports.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

The Miami Herald, Letter to the Editor: State courts under siege in Legislature

State courts under siege in Legislature The Miami Herald | 4/24/2011 Joel H. Brown, chief judge, 11th Judicial Circuit, Miami Miami Herald Letters April 24, 2011 This year’s legislative session should be cause for concern for the citizens of Florida. While the courts continue the uphill battle against underfunding, an alarming set of proposals threatens to erode the independence of the judicial branch of government. If anyone doubts that this year we are facing a … Continue reading

Posted in Statements, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Letter to Speaker Cannon from the League of Women Voters of Florida

League of Women Voters of Florida April 21, 2011 Speaker of the House Dean Cannon 420 The Capitol 402 South Monroe Street Tallahassee, Florida 32399 Dear Speaker Cannon: The League of Women Voters of Florida believes that the proposal to dramatically alter the Florida Supreme Court is a major assault on our judicial independence and causes an unnecessary disruption to our system of checks and balances. Firstly, the absence of the voice of the Florida … Continue reading

Posted in Statements, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

House Democrat: Speaker Dean Cannon tried to trade favorable treatment for support on court bill

House Democrat: Speaker Dean Cannon tried to trade favorable treatment for support on court bill By Mary Ellen Klas, Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau St.Petersburg Times | 4/26/2011 TALLAHASSEE — House Speaker Dean Cannon’s attempt to play hardball Monday with his top priority court reform bill wasn’t the first time the speaker has used political pressure and dealmaking to advance his plan.

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Editorial: GOP strikes back with bills on amendments, high court

Editorial: GOP strikes back with bills on amendments, high court Naples Daily News | 4/25/2011 Still stinging from the state Supreme Court’s decision last year to remove three legislatively approved constitutional amendments from the ballot, lawmakers are fighting back. Their goal? To revamp the amendment process, thereby ensuring constitutional amendments they put on the ballot are voted on by Floridians.

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Senate committee passes Supreme Court overhaul plan

Senate committee passes Supreme Court overhaul plan By Janet Zink, Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau The Miami Herald | 4/25/2011 TALLAHASSEE — With budget talks between the House and Senate strained, Senate budget chief J.D. Alexander extended an olive branch to House Speaker Dean Cannon on Monday: committee passage of Cannon’s overhaul of the Florida Supreme Court. Alexander attached Cannon’s court revamp proposal as an amendment to a Senate bill that would give the Legislature greater control … Continue reading

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Former Justice Cantero: Florida Supreme Court does not need more members

Former Justice Cantero: Florida Supreme Court does not need more members By Raoul G. Cantero, The Miami Herald |4/24/2011 Our state is in a fiscal crisis. We are facing a multi-billion-budget deficit. State agencies are cutting services, tax revenues are down, foreclosures remain high, and unemployment is stratospheric. In the middle of this crisis, the Florida House of Representatives is focusing its energy on solving a problem that doesn’t exist. Without any urging from the … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Take great care with changes to court

Take great care with changes to court The Florida Times-Union | 4/24/2011 Changes should not be made to the Supreme Court of Florida without the most careful and deliberate planning. Yet, the Florida House, led by its speaker, have pushed through a radical proposal that is simply not justified. It’s a solution in search of a legitimate problem. And it has not come close to receiving enough public input and study.

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Schultz: House sinks low trying to take down Florida’s high court

Schultz: House sinks low trying to take down Florida’s high court By Randy Schultz, Editor of the Palm Beach Post Editorial Page | 4/22/2011 The Florida House held a kangaroo trial and convicted the Florida Supreme Court. Through two days of “debate” on April 15 and 16, the grand inquisitors in the House made up their case for turning the seven-member Supreme Court into two divisions of five justices each and allowing the Legislature – … Continue reading

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Court Charges Untrue

Court Charges Untrue By Mike Vasilinda, Capitol News Service | 4/22/2011 April 22nd, 2011 by Mike Vasilinda During debate a week ago, numerous Florida House members blamed Florida’s Supreme Court for delays carrying out the death penalty as a reason to add judges to the court. But as Mike Vasilinda has been able to uncover since the debate, any delay in justice has little to do with the state’s highest court.

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

[Opinion] Legislation Being Considered Threatening Judicial Independence In Florida

[Opinion] Legislation Being Considered Threatening Judicial Independence In Florida By Levin Tannenbaum, Sarasota Speaks | 4/20/11 We are diverting from our usual construction-related topics to inform you of this serious threat to judicial independence in Florida.On Friday, April 15th, the Florida House of Representatives passed HJR7111, a bill proposing amendments to the Florida constitution revamping the Supreme Court, giving the Legislature the authority to establish the rules of court and altering the judicial nomination process.  … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Court bill passes house; Senate companion dissipates

Court bill passes house; Senate companion dissipates The Florida-Times Union | 4/15/2011 THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, April 15, 2011…..House Speaker Dean Cannon’s sweeping plan to overhaul the Florida Supreme Court took one step forward and one step back Friday, with the measure passing the House on a party-line vote while a potential Senate counterpart was quietly withdrawn.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off