[author: Brian C. Willis]
As voting gets closer, we are seeing more coverage of Florida’s proposed Constitutional Amendment 5. A few excerpts are below. Follow this link for my post on understanding Florida’s Constitutional Amendment 5.
NPR State Impact Project:
A group pushing to change the way Florida’s Supreme Court judges are chosen is citing the 2006 decision striking down vouchers as an example of the court deciding cases based on their own beliefs rather than the state constitution or law.
Alex Villalobos, a former Republican state senator, believes legislators already have enough sway on rules.
“The Legislature is doing this because they want to interfere with the way the court is run,” said Villalobos, president of Democracy at Stake, a Tallahassee group with a mission to maintain the independence of Florida courts. “The Senate can act according to the Senate rules, the courts should be able to act on their own rules.”
Supporters say this would speed along the review of both civil and criminal cases, while the opposition fears an imbalance of power between the state branches.
Acceptance of this amendment to the Florida Constitution would signal a fundamental shift in the power in this state between the Judicial, Executive and Legislative branches of Florida’s government. Some believe it represents a genuine threat to the independence of the Florida judicial branch of government, and that it is essentially a power grab by the Legislative branch of Florida’s government. Others believe it provides an additional constitutional check and balance system that prevents the executive branch of our Florida government from totally controlling who is allowed to sit on the Supreme Court of this state.