Judicial Appointments

Florida Supreme Court
Nick Evans / WFSU News

The League of Women Voters of Florida is suing Governor Rick Scott over the appointment of new state supreme court justices. 

The seven-member Florida Supreme  Court poses for a photo in the courtroom.
Florida Supreme Court / Florida Supreme Court

Governor Rick Scott’s decision to start the process of appointing new Florida Supreme Court justices has ignited a looming constitutional crisis.  At the center of the issue: who—the outgoing or incoming governor—has the ability to make those appointments.

Nick Evans

Florida Governor Rick Scott is pushing for Supreme Court Justice Barbara Pariente to recuse herself from a major case deciding the limits of the governor’s appointment powers.

Carol Highsmith via Wikimedia Commons

The Honorable Laura Johnson is getting a promotion—moving up to the circuit court in Palm Beach county.  But the question of who gets to fill her old seat on the county court bench has been the subject of dispute in the state Supreme Court.  Late Friday the justices decided the voters will choose the replacement.

Florida voters overwhelmingly said yes to a dedicated funding source for land conservation and no to giving governors more power over the judiciary.  Another high-profile amendment fell just shy of what it needed to bring medical marijuana to Florida.

Nearly half the states have legalized marijuana either for recreational or for medicinal purposes, but Florida isn’t one of them.

“At the end of the day, Florida voters said no, we don’t want this codified in our constitution, we don’t want these loopholes, we don’t want this amendment," says Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

Florida Channel

Two of three proposed constitutional amendments failed on Florida’s November ballot. Now, the incoming Senate leaders are weighing in on all three and their effect on the Legislature.

All three amendments needed 60 percent of the vote to pass, and Amendment 1—which earmarks about $9 billion for conservation efforts—took about 75 percent of the vote.

Florida Supreme Court

One constitutional amendment proposal on the November ballot could affect Florida politics and policies for decades to come, but it hasn’t gotten much attention. Still, Amendment Three  could give a future governor the power to change the balance of the Florida Supreme Court.

Florida Supreme Court

Three proposed state constitutional amendment are slated for Florida’s November ballot. So far most of the media and the public’s attention has been paid to two of them. But the one proposal that could have the most impact on state policy, is the one many people are overlooking.

Some political watchers say Florida is heading toward a crisis in the judicial system.

Florida Supreme Court

Three proposed state constitutional amendment are slated for Florida’s November ballot.

So far most of the attention has been paid to two of them. Amendment Three, is asking voters to decide which person—an incoming, our outgoing governor, gets to pick district judges and Supreme Court Justices. The issue is coming up now because four current state Supreme Court Justices are term-limited.