The Florida House of Representatives will cast their first vote today on a scheme to put the Florida Supreme Court squarely in the hands of Gov. Rick Scott and the Legislature. Why? Because some powerful GOP leaders resent the court for putting the public’s interest ahead of their own political agenda. They’re trying to change the rules by adding three new justices – all handpicked by their buddy, Gov. Rick Scott.1
We must stop this power grab. Tell your legislator today not to make the people’s court a rubber stamp for Gov. Scott and his allies. Tell the politicians: stop trying to undermine the independence of our courts.
According to the St. Petersburg Times, House Speaker Dean Cannon’s proposal would “divide the current seven-member Supreme Court into two five-justice divisions, one for civil cases and one for criminal.2” The real goal is to give Gov. Scott three new appointments to the court and dramatically shift the make-up of the court. The other goal is to move justices they don’t like out of “civil” cases, where profound policy decisions are addressed, and into a newly formed “criminal” only division of the Supreme Court. This scheme threatens the fundamental concept of three branches of government designed to provide checks and balances that serve to protect our most important civil rights and freedoms.
Tell your legislator today, they need to solve our state’s real problems, like creating instead of cutting jobs, and stop undermining a court system that ensures we the people are protected from abuse of power.
There are many important bills being considered during this year’s legislative session but this power grab would undermine our most basic protections and rights forever. Tell the politicians in Tallahassee this is where we draw the line.
For a better Florida,
Mark, Damien and the rest of the Progress Florida team.